The Morehead News

Local News

August 13, 2010

Food pantry overwhelmed with donations

August 13, 2010 —     The Morehead Gateway Helping Hands Food Bank, located at 3044 U.S. 60 East, started out with four wicker baskets filled with enough food to last a family of four about a week. Now their cup is running over. The organization now barely has enough room to store their donations. Wanda Fultz, director of the food bank, said the organization needs a deep freezer to store their perishable items in.

    “We have so many donations now we don’t know where we are going to put them all,” Fultz said, as she opened the refrigerator doors of each refrigerator in the food bank’s kitchen. “We are going to get a large truckload from a local grocery store today and I don’t know what we are going to put it. A few months ago we started out with very little food. God just multiplied it all.”

    Fultz said she saw a great need for helping families in need whenever she first started the food bank.

    “This is something God started,” Fultz said. “In October 2009, I was led to begin helping to feed area children. This came about after the economy began to crumble and families were struggling to meet the needs of their children. I started out by filling four wicker baskets with enough food to last a family of four about 5-7 days. I presented my idea of starting a food bank to several of my friends and family members. By Nov. 5, 2009, we had a board of directors elected and were ready to start collecting food and clothing for a food/clothing bank.”

    Fultz said as the organization was beginning to form, she thought about the ministry she felt God was leading her to form and operate.

    “I got to thinking God said to feed his children but I don’t think he just meant little children although they are one of the biggest victims of hunger,” Fultz said. “I was thinking that we are all God’s children and God wants me to feed anyone who is hungry. God comes to us in many forms. He may come to us in a form of a person who is hungry. What I do want to stress is that this ministry is for the needy and not the greedy. We help families with children, the sick and or disabled once a month every month.”

    Lately, the food bank has received more than the facility allows room for. Now the organization is asking for help to alleviate this problem.

    “What we are asking from the community is to help us get a freezer,” she said. “We do not have any room for anymore food at this time. This freezer is full. We need another freezer to store meat and other perishable items.”

    Fultz said donations from the community are vital to keep the organization going.

    “With the support of this community, we will continue to help feed and clothe low income families with children in the home, the elderly and he sick in our community,” she said. “No one is ever turned away if they come to us and say they are hungry and need food or clothing for themselves and/ or their children.”

    Fultz said contributions are tax deductible.

    “We now have a 501(c) (3) tax exempt status with the IRS,” she said. “This will qualify us to buy some of our food from God’s Pantry. God’s Pantry is a major food bank that collects food nationwide to share with 50 Kentucky counties including Rowan County. There is a handler’s fee of 19 cents a pound on some of the food items while some items are cooperative food items cost a little more per pound. Another advantage of donating to a 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization is that now all your donation, monetary and other, can be used as a tax deduction for the donor.”

    Another part of her ministry is the school backpack program.

    “Some of my volunteers that work here are bus monitors,” Fultz said. “Some kids cry when they have to go home. My volunteers told me that they tell their kids, 'Well, you’re going home. Your mom and your dad are waiting for you.' They told the monitors that they want to stay at school where the food is at.”

    Fultz said many children go home from school knowing there will not be any food there for them to eat. This is why the school backpack program was started in the Rowan County School system and the food bank.

    “It’s a enough food for children to eat on through the weekend,” she said. “We are doing the elementary school aged backpacks and the high school.”

    Fultz said the elementary school backpacks are filled with food that is easy for young children to get into without parental help.

    “Maybe this will help ease their little belly aches,” she said.

    So far, the Morehead Gateway Helping Hands Food Bank has fed more than 1,500 local people in need. Fultz encourages everyone who can to make donations to the food bank.

    “With your help, and by the grace of God, we can make a difference in the lives of these families in need,” Fultz said.

    Anyone wanting to make a donation or to contact the facility for assistance, call Fultz at 780-9704.

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