Basic Needs Food Drives may seem routine. Get a bag, fill it with non-perishable food items and drop it off at a Southeast Christian Church campus during a weekend service.
But these drives are far from routine for more than 700,000 people, including more than 222,000 children, suffering food insecurity in Kentucky. Southeast donations help stock area food pantries through Dare to Care and Helping Hands of Hope in Hardin County.
On average, Southeast members donate about 25 tons of food during each food drive.
LifeBridge Coordinator Lisa Reynolds said the generosity of Southeast members helps care for thousands in the community.
According to Stan Siegwald, who works for Dare to Care, food insecurity in the Louisville area remains at shocking levels.
“It is in every ZIP code,” he said. “It’s not just folks who are unemployed, dealing with addiction or mental illness. Far more frequently, it’s someone who has a job but circumstances in life prevent them from making ends meet. Many do not qualify for public health assistance, yet they struggle to pay rent, utilities and health-care costs.”
Studies show that those who experience food insecurity also deal with related health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
“We are grateful for the food donated by Southeast,” Siegwald said. “Targeted food items like peanut butter, canned meat, beans and vegetables have strong nutritional impact. Those are like gold in area food banks.”
Items most needed are peanut butter and jelly, canned pasta, soups, canned beans, canned fruit, canned vegetables, boxed macaroni and cheese, dry pasta, rice and beans and canned pasta sauce.
See www.southeastchristian.org for additional details.