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Food pantry uses grant from AEP to refill goods

The Letcher County Food Pantry is trying to restock its shelves with the help of a $2,500 grant from the AEP Foundation.

Harold Bolling, the pantry’s secretary and treasurer, said the grant came last week as the food supplier was running out of items.

The food pantry served 4,427 families with 8,326 household members last year, Bolling said. It did it with $14,000 in cash contributions, and donations of food from four county merchants — Food City, Isom IGA, Price Less and Walmart, Bolling said.

He said the pantry gets much of its food through God’s Pantry, a nonprofit that sells food supplies to food banks at deeply cut prices. The local pantry does pass-through for the schools, also, helping feed kids who don’t have enough to eat.

“Last year, we got 400,000 pounds of food from God’s Pantry, and 200,000 pounds from merchants and public donations,” Bolling said.

Bolling said most of the children the pantry helps feed are taken care of through the schools. He said the changing population of the county has greatly reduced the number of kids being fed directly through the pantry.

“It used to be people with two or three kids,” he said. “Now the biggest part of the people using the service are elderly.”

The Letcher County Food Pantry is located beside the Whitesburg First Baptist Church on Madison Street. Bolling said the service has outgrown the building and the church, which owns the house, needs to have it demolished for an expansion project. The pantry has been looking for a new location for months.

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