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Help stop the food crisis in Appalachia

Submitted by mmoreno on Fri, 08/21/2020 - 08:05

By Brianna Stephens
Brad Hunt continues to fight against food insecurity through his full-time staff position at Christian Appalachian Project’s (CAP) Grateful Bread Food Pantry in Rockcastle County.
Hunger impacts far too many children, their families, and seniors in Appalachia. Since joining the food pantry’s staff in 2016, Hunt, a native of Rockcastle County, has seen the impact it has on the people in his community.

“It makes a huge difference in their lives. We serve people that call and say ‘I have no way to feed my children. Could you all please help us?’ It humbles you when you get those phone calls. I am thankful we can help,” Hunt said. “It is also hard for many of our seniors to make ends meet on a fixed income. The food they receive from the pantry helps keep them from going hungry.”

Each year CAP’s Hunger Walk raises awareness about hunger and food insecurity in Rockcastle County and seeks to educate the community at large about how to help stop the food crisis in Appalachia.

Last year, more than 1,300 walkers participated. In addition, Rockcastle County Schools held a food drive the week prior to the Hunger Walk, and students brought canned goods on the day of the walk. Those items along with non-perishable food items collected for Hunger Awareness Month totaled 8,925 pounds of food.

CAP also hosted a virtual Hunger Walk which allowed supporters across the nation to give. That effort raised an additional $7,846. With the impact of coronavirus stressing an already fragile economic landscape, the pantry anticipates increased need as winter approaches. Generous donations will be the only way to make up the shortfall from being unable to host an in-person event.

“What I love most about the Hunger Walk is that it raises awareness in the community,” Hunt stated. “People should participate to help us get the word out about how people struggle with food insecurity. The donations we receive will help us feed a lot of people.”

According to Hunt, he has had a hand in helping people in all sorts of situations while serving at the pantry. One day, the pantry received a phone call from a local restaurant asking for help for a woman who was eating out of its dumpster. Pantry staff found out where she was staying and now take her food each month.

No matter what the people in his community might face, Hunt is committed to continue the fight against food insecurity. “I love people and I will continue to serve at Grateful Bread because we truly do deliver hope,” Hunt said.

This year’s virtual Hunger Walk invites you to participate whenever and however you can through the end of September which is Hunger Awareness Month. We will observe a symbolic Hunger Walk on Thursday, September 17, 2020. Share photos and use #CAPHungerWalk and tag us @chrisappproj. Please give generously and you’ll provide urgently needed assistance. To join Brad, and others across the nation, donate to CAP or register for Hunger Walk 2020 at