By Richmond Powers
Hope can arrive in many forms: like macaroni and cheese in a box or prepackaged fruit in a cup. This was evident when nearly 300 pounds of food was donated to Christian Appalachian Project’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry by First Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky.
“My heart burst with love and gratefulness to see how the community joined with us to make a huge impact,” said Sherri Barnett, manager of CAP’s pantry. “People must have food, but they also need to have hope. The support of the community has helped us provide both. I am so grateful for all the local churches have done to help us serve people in need right here in Rockcastle County.”
The food donation was especially helpful as the pantry continues to provide backpacks filled with food to children who might otherwise go hungry while schools are closed.
“There are always challenges and how we respond to those challenges makes the difference,” said Dennis Wilder, pastor of First Baptist Church. “I learned of CAP’s working with schools and felt we needed to be involved in helping.” He placed a sermon on Facebook and the social media message went out to churches in the Rockcastle Association of Kentucky Baptist Association inviting them to get involved too.
What followed was an outpouring of support. “We set up a table at the church and donations just kept coming in,” Pastor Wilder said. “They covered the table, were under the table, beside the table. It got to the point you could no longer even see the table. It was just an abundance of food donations for these kids and donations are still coming in.”
First Baptist Church, along with the association, also collected financial donations to continue the work of the pantry to support children and their families during the coronavirus crisis.
Pastor Wilder plans to continue the partnership that has been started with the pantry in order to serve the community. “I’m very grateful for the generosity,” he said. “We’d like to continue this every Monday to bring food to the church or the pantry because CAP is going to have to fill those backpacks to make it available to the children who need it. CAP has come on strong with their ministry in the community and we want to help. We want our children to be able to be fed.”