LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — As many Kentuckians make final preparations for this week’s holiday meal, the sad reality is that it’s been a tough week for some. A group of volunteers came together to make sure the people of Fayette County weren’t going hungry this Thanksgiving.
For the 30th annual Sharing Thanksgiving distribution, Turkey and a lot of other Thanksgiving staples were packaged by God’s Pantry Food Bank with the help of volunteers at Southland Church’s Lexington campus. Michael Halligan is the CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank.
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“People tell us that if it wasn’t for this distribution, they would not be able to gather around the table for a meal. The power and blessing of being able to share a meal with loved ones and with neighbors is such an important piece of Thanksgiving,” Halligan said.
Volunteers delivered the food to cars waiting in line, and a little bit of rain didn’t slow anyone down.
“One of the neighbors who is getting a shared Thanksgiving meal tried to hand me her poncho so I could stay dry. We’re worried about helping those who need nutrition to thrive, and she was worried about making sure I didn’t get wet. That tells you how important the relationships are, and it tells you how much people care for one another,” Halligan said.
Packing up nearly 7,000 Thanksgiving meals isn’t a small task, but it gets a lot easier with a team of dedicated volunteers. Emme Johnson was one of those volunteers.
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“It just makes me really happy to see all of the people get the food they need that I know they can’t get or wouldn’t be able to get without it. It’s fun to help and be in that process,” Johnson said.
It’s that sense of joy from helping that brings volunteers back year after year.
“What we hear from our volunteers is the blessing of giving back to the community and helping those who need nutrition to get some nutrition. They often tell us of the stories and conversations that they have with those experiencing hunger when they take the food out to the cars. It’s just a heartwarming experience for everyone involved,” Halligan said.