By: Brianna Stephens
MT. VERNON, Ky. — Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) recently partnered with Children’s Hunger Fund to distribute 1,248 Farmers to Families Food Boxes to residents of Rockcastle County on Oct. 8. The boxes were donated by Children’s Hunger Fund and supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture in an effort to provide food to families impacted by COVID-19. Each box contained locally sourced fresh fruits and vegetables and dairy and meat products.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Children’s Hunger Fund to partner with CAP,” said Steve Huerta, director of strategic ministry partnerships for Children’s Hunger Fund. “We had a relationship with CAP for several years, and this is the perfect time to reconnect our organizations through this program and offer resources to help families in Appalachia that have been impacted by COVID-19. It’s a pleasure for us to align with such a great ministry like CAP.”
To serve a large number of people in the community, CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry in Rockcastle County partnered with First Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon to host the food box distribution on its campus. Members of First Baptist, other local churches, and members of the Rockcastle Baptist Association helped CAP staff and volunteers load boxes into participants’ vehicles and took boxes to other areas of the community to distribute or deliver.
“We are thankful for Children’s Hunger Fund’s donation to CAP and for our partnership with the local churches that were able to help,” said Sherri Barnett, manager of CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry. “With the donation and the help of our churches, we are able to make a greater impact in our community. People in the community are struggling because of the pandemic. We are grateful to have the opportunity to provide extra food for people in need.”
Grateful Bread Food Pantry works to meet the community’s needs each week and has seen an increase in visits due to the pandemic. In Rockcastle County the food insecurity rate is 16.4 percent or nearly 3,000 people. In the last fiscal year, CAP distributed 35,000 pounds of food each month to families through the food pantry and to elderly individuals through commodity distribution.
“When Grateful Bread called and asked for our help, we did not hesitate to lend a hand,” said Dennis Wilder, pastor of First Baptist Church. “Jesus said if you feed the hungry and clothe those that need clothes, you’re doing it to Him. We want to be Jesus to our community and to our neighborhood.”
CAP’s Operation Sharing Program in Paintsville also recently received the same donation from Children’s Hunger Fund and delivered the food boxes to regional organizations to distribute to people in need. Both program sites anticipate other similar donations of food boxes in the next two weeks. Additional food box distributions in Rockcastle County are also planned.
Christian Appalachian Project has been building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia since our founding more than 50 years ago. With the help of donors, volunteers, staff, and the communities it serves, CAP has grown to impact the lives of more than 1 million people each year. For more information about CAP, visit chrisapp.org.