CYNTHIANA, Ky. — For people in Harrison County in need of food and essentials, a group of loyal volunteers with the pantry is ready to make a difference.
Jackie Collins runs the food bank out of the Living Hope Assembly of God church downtown. She’s been running it for seven long years, and she says it’s part of a routine.
As the director of the food pantry, Collins says that they serve anywhere from 450 to 1,500 families a month throughout the year. They first opened their life-changing doors in 2010.
The goal is to provide people with fresh foods, non-perishables, frozen meats and other essentials needed to make meals.
“The biggest thing is the cost of groceries versus what people are making if they can’t afford to buy everything they need,” Collins explained. “You would be surprised. A lot of our people are on fixed incomes, and that’s not a lot per month.”
Food donations come from outside support that includes Feeding America’s God’s food pantry, Dollar General and Walmart.
However, with the number of folks they hope to feed, she spends up to $1,000 a month. It’s why she says monetary donations make the biggest difference aside from donations. They also apply for grants annually to help cover other costs.
Collins says it takes faithful volunteers to get the goods to these families.
“I’ve been blessed to have some Toyota workers who retired. I’ve been blessed to have three workers, retired, and then from that, others just showed up.” She said about her luck.
Collins says they see each other in this community as family. And in February, Collins said those she has helped plus others in the community stood behind her and her family after they lost their home in a fire.
It’s why she and others like her are dedicated to this work.
“Compassion. it’s compassion about neighbors, helping neighbors, and neighbors loving neighbors. Everybody has a story.” Collins said.
Volunteers with Hope’s Helping Hands say that their doors are always open to anyone in the city and that they want to help.