Feed the Need helps bring relief during uncertainty of COVID-19

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With so many locals not able to go into work because of the COVID-19, the needs of the community are skyrocketing.

But, Friday, volunteers came together to try and provide some relief.

The United Way of Southern Kentucky teamed up with the Salvation Army in Bowling Green and dozens of companies to host Feed the Need Friday morning.

Representatives from those companies, in addition to community members, dropped of loads of food to donate while volunteers sorted and distributed food items to 88 families.

This year, some companies had trouble finding canned goods because many store shelves are bare.

Elizabeth Newbould, with the United Way of Southern Kentucky, says the need for food donation is greater than ever before due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Our 211-call center is getting hundreds of call a day. We had to bring extra employees in the handle the extra call volume because of the needs in the community,” said Newbould.

Ronald Tanner, a 70-year-old veteran, received food Friday. He says he is worried about the virus due to his age and this provided a way he could access food safely.

“I’m single, and I live out in the country, and I am afraid to go anywhere because I see a lot of people dying,” said Tanner.

Another man, James Meador, also received food.

“I wasn’t sure what to do. I can’t exactly go to the store and buy everything that I need, you know. But it is very greatly appreciated,” said Meador.

Captain Michael Cox, the corps officer of the Bowling Green Salvation Army, says the homeless population is facing more than just food and shelter shortage, but are also having more difficulty finding social interaction since social distancing rules were put into place.

“We have to limit the number of people we can bring in so that we can try to adhere to the CDC. But we want people to know, we are still here to help as much as possible,” said Cox.

In 2019, the United Way received over 120,000 donated food items that were given out to community members in need.