Adams was thrilled with her discovery.
“We’re on fixed incomes, and our incomes did not go up. You can only stretch a dollar so far and you have to do without.”
Reardon was especially excited at their discovery because her household includes great-grandchildren and an adopted child.
“I have a 12-year-old and a 23-year-old and sometimes a 5-year-old,” she says. “Every little bit helps.”
Many people have discovered the pantry located in a freshly-painted white concrete building. In two days, 335 people had shopped there. The pantry opened with $4,000 worth of food purchased at low prices from God’s Pantry in Lexington with expectations it would last a month.
“In the first three days, we gave away 7,259 pounds of food,” says Sally Powell, who was working at the pantry with the Hand Up Group.
Seeing a need
The pantry is HUG’s first project. Co-founders are Dr. Bryan Wood and Dr. Robin Peavler, who operate the Danville-based SelfRefind clinic, which treats people with opiate addictions. SelfRefind started as a small clinic in 2006 but has grown to eight clinics with 48 physicians in three states. In helping clients, Wood and Peavler saw a need for a food bank.
“They just discovered there are a mountain of other needs with food and everything. They’re fighting on so many fronts,” Powell says.
A lot of other people contributed to the effort. Butternut gave bread, and Food Lion donated frozen meat. A local farmers market donated produce. More support is needed, Powell says.
“We need churches, families, service clubs and other organizations to donate or put us in their monthly budgets.”
The pantry also needs volunteers. About eight people work each day. They help each customer with food selections.
“People have choices so they don’t get a box of food that they end up throwing away,” Powell says.
During the first week, the pantry was serving everyone, but in the future, people need a referral from local agencies.
Agencies giving referrals are Blue Grass Community Action Agency, Boyle County Health Department, Department of Community Based Services, Salvation Army, Family Services, Cabinet for Families and Children and the state Social Insurance Department.
Another Wednesday shopper, Rick Satterfield, learned about the pantry because he is a bus driver for Blue Grass Community Action Agency, which helped plan the pantry. Satterfield was shopping for a household that includes his wife, their 14-year-old twin daughters, a 16-year-old son and a 20-year-old son who is hunting a job.
Satterfield says though he is on the receiving end now, when his financial situation changes, he will repay the kindness.
“Once I can afford it, I’m going to start trying to give back. That’s the way I was raised and how I’m raising my family.”
SO YOU KNOW
Harvesting Hope Food Pantry is at 410 Fryes Lane in Danville. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday. For more information, call Sandy Fields at (859) 209-4182 or (859) 324-6098.