LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — National Guard soldiers packed boxes for three regional food banks in Kentucky Tuesday fulfilling the Governor's request for relief.
The food banks in Elizabethtown, Wilder and Lexington continue to provide food to hundreds of food pantries around the Commonwealth now that the volunteer supply has been replenished.
"We could not do this work right now if it were not for the National Guard," stated God's Pantry Food Bank CEO Michael Halligan. "Many of our volunteers are age 60 and above, and they're at risk right now. And so we very respectfully ask those volunteers to think about us by being healthy at home. The National Guard is coming in exactly the right time to help us continue to do our work."
For the next two weeks, soldiers assigned to Lexington's God's Pantry Food Bank will pack about 300 boxes an hour to total 10,000 boxes. Each box ideally provides five days worth of food for a family.
"All of these food boxes will be available to agencies that do hunger relief across central and eastern Kentucky," Halligan said. "There are 400 food pantry and meal programs that help those in need. Some are here in Fayette County, but others are in a total of 50 counties across Central and Eastern Kentucky."
He explained receiving the food during the pandemic is the same process as usual.
"So we still do direct distribution here in Fayette County," Halligan noted. "Outside of Fayette County we work with over 400 meal programs distributing food. The way to think about the food bank is the warehouse and all those pantries are the grocery stores. We're providing resources into the pantries, who in turn, provide that food to those who are hungry."
National Guard Lt. Robert Moore who alongside 18 other soldiers packed boxes Monday explained he and his team are carrying out their duty.
"You know, I signed up to be in the National Guard to help my community and being able to do it today makes me really proud," Moore explained. "And I know that a lot of the other soldiers here today also have great pride in being in the National Guard and we just want to help our community."
If you would like to learn more or donate to God's Pantry Food Bank's efforts to feed the food insecure in Central and Eastern Kentucky, visit their website at www.godspantryfoodbank.org.