Local food pantries to benefit from Kentucky Department of Agriculture grant

MORGANTOWN, Ky. – More than two dozen food pantries in Kentucky will benefit from a new grant from the state’s department of agriculture, and three of them are here in southcentral Kentucky

One of them is Morgantown Mission.

“It will help,” said Garry McKinney, director of the mission. “Everything helps. Everything you get is just another brick to building a better success rate on helping people.”

That success rate is about to improve, too, but not just at Morgantown Mission.

On Monday, Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles announced that, as part of a grant from Feeding Kentucky, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will be distributing coolers or freezers to 25 different food pantries around the state.

“It’s gonna help provide solutions, and it provides an immediate effect for those trying to combat hunger in Kentucky,” Quarles said.

Morgantown Mission currently only has three coolers, most of which are normally empty due to high demand of perishable goods, but low supply because of lack of storage space.

At times, the mission has had to turn away cold food donations because they didn’t have enough space to store them.

“A lot of times I don’t have the colder, perishable foods, so this will help,” added McKinney.

McKinney recalls applying to be selected for the grant, but he was shocked that Morgantown Mission was chosen.

In fact, he didn’t even know they had been named on the list until during his interview with WNKY reporter Matt Foster, who had the opportunity to share the great news with the mission’s director.

“That means that’s good,” said McKinney as he smiled and laughed. “I’m thrilled. I’m glad to know that.”

The most pleasant of surprises for McKinney, and one that will allow him and their food pantry to continue to serve more than 200 hungry people in Butler County that use the pantry on a monthly basis.

“I don’t know what they’d do without it,” McKinney said. “I really don’t. It’s a very valuable resource.”

With the knowledge that one in six Kentuckians deal with hunger or food insecurities daily, expanding the resources these food pantries have at their disposal will hopefully lead to more people having food on their table at the end of the day.

“We believe that hunger is a huge problem, but it’s a problem with a solution,” said Tamara Sandberg, Executive Director of Feeding Kentucky. “And together we can solve hunger.”

The two other food pantries in southcentral Kentucky selected for this grant are the Edmonson County Community Action, and Meadow Land Baptist Church in Warren County.