• 54°

Food bank in Perryville asks for help

Jayne Pitman and Carolyn Shook say the food bank at their church normally saw 10-12 families on the last Saturday of the month. Now, it’s been up to 20 at times.

“We are just running low on food,” said Pitman, who is secretary at Perryville Baptist.

She said the food bank’s empty shelves are due to a combination of not getting as much donated by the congregation as they have in the past, along with more families coming through the doors when the food bank is open.

Most of the time, Pitman said, families are running low on food at the end of the month. “We started it at the end of the month to give them the bump they need until they get their food stamps.”

Families are always extremely gracious, and extremely glad there is something on that end of the county. “Any other time, they’d have to go to Danville, and they may not have the gas to do that,” Pitman says.

The idea for the food bank was born out of a Sunday school class, led by Shook, who has been a teacher at the church for three years. She’s also a registered nurse and participates in missions out of the country, as well as in prison ministry.

“So many go on mission trips out of the country, or even to eastern Kentucky, because they feel the need to serve others,” Shook says, but Perryville needs help as well.

“Perryville is below the poverty level, and there are hungry people right here. We need to take care of people in our own backyard, too,” she says. She expects the need to continue increasing as winter gets closer.

“The lord laid it on our hearts that there are hungry people, right here, in Perryville,” Shook says.

It’s mostly been the same families throughout the first two years, but due to word of mouth, more have been coming in.

“We want to continue doing this, but can only do so if we have the donations,” Shook says.

The food bank ran out of food in July, she says. Church members ended up going to the local Dollar Store to get some things for the last few families who didn’t get what they needed.

“The demand has gotten greater than the supply — it’s all volunteer- and donation-based,” Shook says.

She says the church hasn’t approached businesses in the area for help yet, but the youth group at the church is going to work on developing a food drive, hopefully to be set up in front of an area store.

Pitman says items they need include bags or boxes of cereal, oatmeal, grits, pancake mix, syrup, biscuit mix and peanut butter. Also, canned meats and other types of canned foods; pasta; condiments; snacks; and drinks, like milk, fruit juices, tea, coffee and evaporated milk.

Hygiene items are also accepted, as are laundry items such as toilet paper, bath soap, etc. They will accept just about any items, except for clothing.

“We do have a refrigerator and a freezer, too,” Pitman says.

New Hope Food Pantry has been helping with bread and pastries, she says, and about each time families visit, they are usually given milk, eggs, hotdogs or hamburgers, mostly donated by the church congregation.

“We also pray with the families when they’re here, about specific needs,” Shook says. She says some have come by just to ask for help in the form of prayer. “It’s just a real blessing.”

“We want to stretch it out and make it a Perryville community outreach thing, not just a Perryville Baptist thing,” Shook says.

IF YOU GO

Perryville Baptist Church Food Bank is open 10 a.m.-noon on the last Saturday of the month. If there is a local food need during other days of the month, someone is at the church from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday and will assist anyone if they can.

SO YOU KNOW

To find out how you can help support the Perryville Baptist Church Food Bank, email pbcsecretary68@yahoo.com or call the church at (859) 332-8721. The church is located at 202 South Bragg Street.