God’s Pantry Food Bank programs and partner services director Danielle Bozarth has been fast at work gearing up for summer feeding programs.
“During the school year, children are used to getting free and reduced breakfast or lunch. During the summer months when they are home with their parents, it’s really difficult for parents to be able to provide three meals a day for two and a half months,” Bozarth said.
According to God’s Pantry Food Bank, one in six Kentuckians are unsure where they will get their next meal. With more than 400 food pantries and meal programs in 50 counties across central and eastern Kentucky, people often turn to God’s Pantry to help them put food on the table.
“We will see an increase of parents utilizing our food pantries because the kids are home,” Bozarth said.
A report from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy revealed over 21,000 Kentuckians have lost SNAP benefits over the last year because of a work requirement.
“21,000 people is the same as the folks who live in Ashland, so we’re not talking about a trivial number of people, especially considering who could lose benefits,” policy analyst Dustin Pugel said.
With that many people losing the food assistance they were used to getting, many started turning to places like God’s Pantry to get through.
“We will see an increase in our food pantries of people needing that food, that extra supplement,” Bozarth said.
With more former SNAP recipients seeking extra food assistance, coupled with what is already a busy time of year at the food bank, God’s Pantry can use all the help it can get.
“There are not a lot of food drives going around and we really need those especially in the summer months,” Bozarth said.
She said a $1 donation can buy $10 worth of food due to God’s Pantry Food Bank’s buying power. You can head to God's Pantry's website to learn more about ways to get involved.