WEBSTER COUNTY, KY (11/28/12) - In December the doors of the old Providence VFW will open again, this time as the Providence Community Food Bank.
Food bank director Chip Palmer said the opening is planned for Tuesday, December 18th.
The Providence Church of Christ, which has run a small food bank out of their church pantry, has committed to sponsoring this new community food bank with the goal of improving the quality of life for Webster County families.
“We’re talking with the tri-state food bank in Evansville as a resource,” Palmer said. “I also have a meeting with the director of the food bank in Clay. They’ve phased most of that out, which was part of our motivation to get this going.”
He said the Church of Christ’s food bank had served about ten to fifteen families a month. With the addition of the families who had been going to Clay they expect a couple of hundred families.
“We’re looking for volunteer help to help stock shelves and assist people when they come in,” Palmer said. “And we’re looking for businesses, churches and individuals to help fund raise or do food fund raisers.”
“We would like for all of the churches, if we haven’t contacted you, please contact us,” said Doug Hammers, another volunteer helping to spearhead the facility’s construction. “I think this is going to be so good. It will have everything in one location, instead of being spread out among all of the different congregations.”
In addition to the front room of the building, which will serve as the food bank, the building also comes equipped with a walk-in freezer, which will allow them to do things that they couldn’t do at the Church of Christ.
Palmer said the ultimate goal is to have someone on staff to help everyone that comes in find what they need.
“We hope to have someone here who is an expert on the subject matter,” Palmer explained. “One individual who is an expert on everything available in the county and has the phone numbers and contact information on hand. Kind of a one stop approach.”
Since acquiring the facility, everything has progressed very quickly.
“We’re moving fast,” Palmer said.
“Faster than I would have anticipated,” Hammers said.
Doug Hammers’ Construction handled the remodeling of front lobby area of the building on very little notice.
“I had thirty minutes notice,” Doug Hammers said with a smile. “I was called by one of the major contributors to this. The guy has a heart of gold, but wishes to remain anonymous. It's amazing what he has done.”
The Food Bank will be an independent non-profit entity, being supported by the Providence Church of Christ. It will serve all of Webster County, and they even hope to be able to reach people in Hopkins County as well.
“It will be up to the community to sustain it,” Palmer said.
Currently Webster County has 2,292 residents, roughly 17.1 percent of the population, living in poverty. Many of these people must make sometimes devastating decision between paying rent, utilities and medical expenses and buying food. The food bank hopes to they can help these people stay in their homes by alleviating at least part of their dilemma.
Anyone wishing to find out more can contact James “Chip” Palmer at 667-2852 or 836-5521.
The food bank’s hours of operation will be Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to noon.
There will be two volunteer clean-ups scheduled at the food bank. Anyone wishing to help is welcomed. They will be Saturday, December 1, from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturday, December 8, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
J-E News Editor
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