Food bank warehouse coming to Rowan
Apr 06, 2012 (The Morehead News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
It will be easier for Rowan County area food banks to feed local families when a new God's Pantry Food Bank distribution center opens, hopefully in mid-2013.
Marian Guinn, God's Pantry chief executive officer, made the announcement yesterday at the monthly meeting of the Morehead-Rowan County Chamber of Commerce.
"Our plan is to add a 6,500 square foot warehouse in this area to better serve member agencies," Guinn said.
She told the audience that the organization's "Come to the Table" capital campaign is raising money to expand its food distribution network, and a portion of those funds is reserved to establish a distribution center here and also in the London-Corbin area.
A location for the warehouse has not yet been determined, according to Guinn.
"The choice is whether to buy or build and that decision has not yet been made," said Keith Kappes, chairman of the God's Pantry Morehead Regional Advisory Board.
Guinn said God's Pantry consistently monitors its food distribution system to provide equitable access to food.
Bluebank First Church of God operates one of eight area food pantries. Pastor Jeff Fannin said a distribution center will make it easier for pantries to get food. Currently, they have to drive to Lexington or Winchester to pick it up.
"It will provide easier access and make the products more readily available to our families," he added.
In 2012, God's Pantry served 220,000 unique individuals but Guinn said more food and an expanded distribution system will help the organization reach the estimated 300,000 people in its 50-county service area that are at risk of hunger.
She said economic conditions are prompting more people to seek food banks.
"We've seen the distribution of our product increase rapidly as needs increase in this economy," Guinn said.
"We're serving more people who have never needed a food pantry or soup kitchen. Families who once considered themselves middle class are in need of help with food."
She told the audience that one in five Kentucky adults and one in four children are at risk of being hungry.
Guinn said God's Pantry and its network of nearly 400 non-profit organizations comprise a regional distribution system that moves food from warehouses to food banks to dining tables.
Eight Rowan-area agencies team up with God's Pantry to provide food banks. The groups pay God's Pantry and receive foodstuffs in return.
Last year, Rowan agencies contributed $12,934 and received food valued at $523,072.
God's Pantry last year distributed 23.9 million pounds of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, in Central and Eastern Kentucky.
For more information on God's Pantry Food Bank call 859-225-6592 or go to www.godspantry.org.
Noelle Hunter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.
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