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Local School district partners with food pantry to meet needs in community

Submitted by mmoreno on Tue, 03/24/2020 - 13:50

MOUNT VERNON, Ky. — Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) and the Rockcastle County School District have had a long-standing partnership to serve students and their families. This foundation opened doors to continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations under the constraints of guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“The partnership between CAP and the Rockcastle County School District is making an enormous impact during these critical and uncertain times,” said Sherri Barnett, manager of CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry. “Together, we’re not only addressing the students’ needs but the entire family. With the donations received to date, over 3,000 pounds of perishable food and dairy products, we are able to provide much-needed items that are currently scarce on grocery store shelves.”

Carrie Ballinger, director of student services for Rockcastle County Schools, agreed. “In this unprecedented time of emergency, we needed to be 100 percent sure that our Rockcastle County families would have enough food. This partnership with CAP has allowed us to coordinate our resources to make certain that all families in need of food or other resources are properly taken care of.”

The school district has helped the pantry over the years through sharing resources to make certain that the most vulnerable families in the community received needed resources and that there are open lines of communication to assess needs. High school students from the Honors Club have packed food boxes at the pantry for seniors, many who live below the poverty line. School children from elementary to high school annually support the Hunger Walk which raises awareness about food insecurity in Rockcastle County.

“Rockcastle County Schools is here to serve our community in whatever capacity is needed,” Ballinger said. “When we discovered that there was a need for food donations within our community we immediately inventoried our schools and made the needed donations to CAP, our long-standing partner. These donations have allowed us to make certain that no family in the Rockcastle County community has to do without during this state of emergency.”        

Many students in Rockcastle County Schools are being raised by their grandparents. Through referrals received by school Family Resource Centers and through the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program, the district is working with CAP to make certain that seniors also have their needs addressed. This partnership is allowing all members of the community to be served during this health emergency.

“We are so thankful for this partnership, it helps us to make an impact not only for our students but also the seniors that are in need of food,” Barnett added. “CAP also fills around 450 food backpacks a month for three of our local schools. This is a wonderful community that comes together in times of need to help take care of the most vulnerable among us.”

Referrals are being taken on a daily basis at both the school level and through Central Office. Each school principal is at school each day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to receive calls from families. The Central Office is also open during this time for community calls. Students and families that have a specific need are encouraged to reach out by phone or email.

For additional information about Christian Appalachian Project, please visit

Christian Appalachian Project has been building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia since its founding more than 50 years ago. With the help of donors, volunteers, staff, and the communities it serves, CAP has grown to impact the lives of more than 1 million people each year.