CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry hosted its third annual Hunger Awareness March on September 4th in downtown Mt. Vernon, KY. This year, 183 caring individuals volunteered to “stand up to hunger” and 417 pounds of food were donated to the pantry!

The 2-mile walk was a demonstration of people from around Kentucky coming together for a common goal: to increase awareness about hunger locally and worldwide. This year, that group included representatives from God’s Food Bank Pantry and Wal-Mart. The mayor of Mt. Vernon also attended the Hunger Awareness March, as did the leadership club for Rockcastle Middle and High School.

The Grateful Bread Food Pantry, located in Rockcastle County, Kentucky, currently serves 70% of the people living below the poverty level there. In addition, the Grateful Bread Food Pantry is able to help 800 families in need every month.

To learn more about CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry and how you can help, visit us online at www.christianapp.org. You can also contact Sherri Barnett at (606) 256-3035 ext. 3, email: sbarnett@chrisapp.org, or Carolyn Lindsey at (606) 256-5921, email: clindsey@chrisapp.org. Donations to the Grateful Bread Food Pantry can be dropped off or mailed to 3095 Richmond Street, Mt. Vernon, KY 40456.

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September has been a very exciting month for the Christian Appalachian Project (CAP), as it marked the beginning of our 50th anniversary celebrations. To celebrate 50 years in the mountains, CAP hosted a concert at the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts. Performers included Crystal Gayle, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and Mitch Barrett, this event was one to be remembered!

CAP staff, donors, current and former volunteers and friends all joined together to celebrate the 50th anniversary and CAP’s many accomplishments over the years. The show started off with clips from CAP’s documentary, 50 Years in the Mountains, which is available to view on our website.

Longtime CAP friend and former participant Mitch Barrett opened the show with an amazing performance. Following that, Crystal Gayle and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band also gave truly remarkable performances that kept the crowd on their feet. The highlight of the night was the grand finale, when all the artists came together and sang a moving rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”

50th Anniversary Concert from Christian Appalachian Project

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Kathy KluesenerKathy O’Donnell Kluesener has served at the Christian Appalachian Project longer than any other person in CAP’s history. For 40 years, Kathy has dedicated herself to our volunteer program. Arriving as a short-term volunteer for the housing and summer camp programs, she found her experience to be so fulfilling that she returned as a long-term volunteer.  CAP’s founder, Reverend Beiting, saw something special in Kathy and placed her in a full-time role assisting those who were interested in becoming volunteers. This was such a good fit that Kathy continues to serve in that capacity today.  Her goal is to ensure others have a valuable volunteer experience by supporting them while they are with CAP, and also making sure to keep them connected once they move on.

Mike Loiacono, Cumberland Valley Director of Human Services, recalls: “My first impression of Kathy was one of a humble servant of God, and that impression has proven itself over the last couple of decades. Her peaceful spirit is a touchstone that helps keep me centered when I’m around her and when I think of her.”

In the words of Bev Penkalski, former manager of CAP’s Outreach program, “We can only guess at the changes in the world as a result of the ripple effect from her acceptance and guidance with each of the hundreds of individuals she has cared for and ministered to through these many years.”

Kathy’s ministry to serve volunteers has enabled CAP to achieve our mission to serve people in need in Appalachia. As CAP celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, it is important to note the dedication of the employees and volunteers, and how they truly are the backbone of this great and successful organization.

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