No one needs to go hungry in Clay County. The Clay County Emergency Food Pantry is open 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. Located at 506 E. Pinckley Street, the Pantry has been in operation since 1983.
Randy Herbert, Unit Manager at Kroger Food Store gave a check for $237 to the Food Pantry Director Norma Brown on Thursday. Herbert said the money was a donation from customers for the Share Your Feast 2003 project.
Herbert said they have a buy a bag of food program in November and December. Sacks of food are available for a designated fee, usually $5 or $10. Customers buy a sack of food then donate it to the Pantry.
"The Pantry needs food and money not just in the months of November and December," Herbert said. "We want to bring awareness that they need food and funds all year long."
Brown agreed. "The Pantry is stocked by donations and government commodities," she explained. "We still have food but our donations are low. If we don't get more coming in our supplies are going to dwindle.
"We helped about 130 families last month," Brown said. "That's a good average."
The Pantry has client's choice. They can pick what they want. The quantity they receive is based on family size and the foods they choose from the client choice list.
Brown said the clients should have a referral from a church or the Mayor's office or other sources. They can come in once a month.
"We would not send anyone away, however, if we knew they were hungry."
The pantry is run by about 30 volunteers. But Brown said they can use more help. They are always in need of food, money and volunteer service.
"We greatly appreciate this donation from the Kroger customers," Brown said. "We've been really blessed with donations. I keep telling them, 'As long as we're doing the Lord's work, He's going to provide.'"
Anyone interested in volunteering, donating or in need of food may get more information by going to the Pantry during working hours or by calling Brown at 812-448-8854 or Assistant Director Ethel Frost at 812-446-6371.