The Gallatin County Food Pantry – Fighting Hunger One Meal at a Time
Our community has many individuals who face food insecurity. There are many in need today and they are having to choose between skipping meals or eating less on a regular basis. The Gallatin County Food Pantry is here as a resource to those who need assistance through a difficult time for many reasons. We serve the unemployed as well as the underemployed, households whose income does not stretch to cover food expenses, older adults on fixed incomes, temporarily homeless households and many others who are suffering due to unfavorable economic conditions. It is our hope that this assistance will ease some of the financial hardships so many are facing and that we will be a bridge of support to alleviate the fear of hunger in our community.
In 2014 the Gallatin County Food Pantry was formed through the assistance and a generous grant offered by the RC Durr Foundation and the Freestore Foodbank. The three year grant is a declining grant set up to lay the foundation for a permanent food pantry in our area. To get things started, we began by holding the monthly mobile distributions in the former American Racing warehouse in Warsaw, Kentucky. These mobile pantries provided specific food items for healthy meals to over 100 Gallatin County families each month. Several months later, the Pantry moved into a permanent location at 205 W. Pearl Street in Warsaw, Kentucky. At this site, we sort, store and distribute our monthly food donations and purchases.
Once in a permanent location with Serve Safe Food Handling guidelines being met and fulfilment of the grant requirements, the Pantry was converted from mobile to a Choice Pantry in February 2015. This conversion allows participants to select their distribution items to supplement food needs and minimize the need for emergency assistance.
The Freestore Foodbank has provided continuous training and support as well as healthy guidelines for food selections and nutrition. Monthly the Freestore’s delivery truck brings much of our food supply to our door. The remainder of our food supply has either been collected through donation barrels or personal/group donations received. We also purchase additional items with monetary donations we have received through individuals as well as fundraising efforts.
With the combined abilities and efforts of our many volunteers, hundreds of families have been served and our volunteers have enjoyed an opportunity to assist their neighbors in need.
Are you hungry or do you know some who may be suffering in silence? Please let others know about us by talking about this topic, supporting our efforts, getting involved, setting an example for others and encouraging those around you to do the same. Together we CAN make a difference.
Some staggering statistics from our partner, Feeding America:
- Kentucky ranks 4th highest in the nation for poverty.
- Kentucky ranks 17th in household food insecurity with a rate of 17.2%.
- Kentucky ranks 28th in child food insecurity with a rate of 22.4%
- Based on their Map the Meal Gap 2015 Survey, Gallatin County has a 15.7% food insecurity rate.
- The population data from 2013 indicates 8,525 people reside here with an estimated 1,340 of them being food insecure.
- Food insecurity is the lack of access at times to enough food for an active, healthy life or the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods.
- These statistics make it clear that we have many neighbors in need in Gallatin County and that is why the GCFP is determined to do everything we can to alleviate hunger in our community.