MENIFEE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — One year ago, the food pantry at Dayspring A Church Alive in Menifee County was feeding 175 families a month.
Today, that number has nearly doubled to 338 families. That number is growing weekly and doesn't include emergency food.
On Wednesday, Mary Lee Helton brought her 89-year-old mother-in-law.
"She'll love that," Helton said as volunteers packed the back of her car with food.
Her mother-in-law, Oma Lee, is on a fixed income and relies on the pantry and her family for food.
"The food pantry is a wonderful thing for people just like her that are sick or older or can't work and have no way to get food in," Helton said.
A few cars behind her, Teresa Watkins got into line for the first time.
"We've been sacrificing quite a bit," Watkins said about her and her husband.
They are both disabled, and with high inflation, she said they can't afford groceries.
"Oh, it's ridiculous," she said. "It's just totally ridiculous. Every time you go it's up a little more."
Inflation is also hitting the church itself. In the past, it has relied on grants and partnerships with other churches to fund the pantry.
Now, they're having to kick fundraising into high gear for the first time.
"We do need to start looking at that and trying to come up with new ways that we can raise money so that we can continue to keep up with feeding people that we never have to say no to somebody who comes to this church that's hungry," Pastor Rodney Coffey said. "That's our goal."
Coffey said they have several fundraisers coming up to pay for everything from the utilities to keep the pantry running to a new van which will help them pick up food to bring to the pantry.
It's essential so they never have to turn a person away.