story Moriah Peterson, photos Darren Doyle:
Throughout the summer months Feeding America, Edmonson County Senior Pantry, St. John’s, Volunteers of Brownsville Missionary Baptist Church and the Family Resource/Youth Services Center of Edmonson County Schools all partnered together to continue the Family Resource Center's Backpack program. This program normally ends when the school year ends, but because of the following organizations the program was continued throughout the summer, in which, 15,841 items of food and household goods were distributed.
“Great things can happen when we work together,” said Pastor John Chidester of Brownsville Missionary Baptist Church. “No child or family in Edmonson County should go hungry and we are already prepping for next year.”
Over ninety students signed up for the summer extension of the program. Over the course of the program 902 volunteer hours were invested in sorting, bagging, and distributing food. Volunteers drove a total 1802 miles over the summer delivering food to students’ homes.
“This summer program is something we want to continue here in Edmonson County,” said Barbara Fitzhugh, St. John’s Thrift Store and Pantry Manager. “For some kids the only meals they get are what they receive at school and that’s why this summer program is so important.”
The first load of food brought to Edmonson County for distribution was 3,500 pounds. Each bag given contained seven days of food.
Canned food and other donations are accepted throughout the year at the St. John’s Pantry. Monetary donations are accepted at the store and will be put in a separate account that is solely used for the summer backpack program. Anyone interested in volunteering for the program next summer are welcome to contact Pastor John Chidester of Brownsville Missionary Baptist Church or call the St. John’s Thrift Store.