Giving up the goods

By Hyacinth Miles

The Holidays are a time for giving. We give gifts to our loved ones, give parties for our friends, and I personally find it a great time for giving to myself as well! I mean how can you do all this great shopping without sneaking in a few non-gift receipts here and there? But this spirit should not rest with those people we interact with daily. There are many people in the world who receive no Christmas gifts at all and who have found themselves in a situation where even getting food is a challenge. As you are enjoying the holiday season, also remember to give gifts to those who need it most. God’s Pantry is a non-profit organization whose mission is to reduce hunger, provide nutrition education and improve the nutritional quality of food in 49 counties in the central and eastern Kentucky area.

To give you an idea of where these donations go, here are a few facts found in the 2002 God’s Pantry Hunger in Fayette county report. First, 46 percent of the Fayette County emergency food box recipients are children. Also, 51 percent of emergency food recipients had to choose between paying for food and paying their rent or mortgage in the last year. These statistics begin to give an idea of the struggles these families are encountering every day. A small gift will help ease one or two of these pressures. God’s Pantry provides many resources for you to make whatever contribution possible.

God’s Pantry provides several ways for you to contribute to the food drive. One of the easiest ways to donate to God’s Pantry is with the Virtual Food Drive at Simply choose the food you would like to donate or give a monetary donation that will be used to purchase items for those in need. You can pay with a credit card and at the end it will tell you approximately how many people you have helped. Kroger also provides various programs to donate to God’s Pantry. Throughout the year, Kroger displays bags of non-perishable foods for you to purchase and place in the food donation barrel at the store. Most stores offer $2.50, $5.00 & $10.00 bags for donation. Kroger also offers the Kroger Gift Card from God’s Pantry. These cards offer an initial value of $25. Once you’ve charged $5,000 in credits, Kroger will write God’s Pantry a check for $250. There are also donation barrels available at many stores around the Lexington area.

In addition to knowing where to donate, what to donate is also an important question. What else should you donate aside from canned vegetables? Well, one easy answer is canned fruit. These cans are a more expensive donation but in high demand. Also, with God’s Pantry focus on nutrition, non-perishable protein items are also in high demand. Some high protein ideas include peanut butter, beans or even canned meat. Also remember that many of the recipients are children, or even babies. Baby food and baby formula are always in high demand throughout the year. Other food donations you may not think about right away include canned rice or instant potatoes. Next time you’re at Kroger, look beyond the green beans and look for other shelf stable items that would help the hungry in Kentucky.

God’s Pantry is the ultimate resource for food donations in the Lexington area but there are many others. Contact your local church, school, or business to find out about more food drives. If you are interested in hosting a food drive of your own, contact Robert Srodulski of God’s Pantry at 859/ 255.6592. During the holidays, organizations like God’s Pantry are stocking up food like squirrels before winter. Don’t forget about this important cause during the rest of the year. Meals-on-Wheels is another organization in the Lexington area that needs help all year long. Don’t hesitate to call 859/ 276.5391 and see how you can help.

Do your part in the fight for hunger in the Lexington area. There are many resources for you to contribute food or money during this holiday season. Use your holiday spirit to help those in need. Every gift will help, no matter how large or small. Keep up the food donations throughout the year to combat the problem of hunger in our community.Use the resources in the Lexington area to make an important difference in the lives of others. n

Reprinted 2003