Fighting Hunger in Local Communities: God's Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, KY

By Tim Foltyn
March 25, 2014
Congressman Andy Barr

While you read this, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger, about 1 in 6 people in the United States.

As Feeding America has taught us, “these are often hard-working adults, children and seniors who simply cannot always make ends meet and may be forced to go without food.”

With so many American families facing this challenge on a daily basis, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $2 billion in cash and in-kind contributions through 2015 to fight hunger in America. This initiative leverages our size and resources to provide nutritious food and the Walmart Foundation's ability to grant funding to nonprofits that help elevate the issue.

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY-6) to visit one of these nonprofits, God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington, Kentucky.  GPFB Chief Executive Officer Marian Gunn gave us a tour of their 50,000 square-foot facility and told us how her organization has been collecting and distributing donated food to agencies across central and eastern Kentucky for 59 years. 

To see firsthand how they serve 1 in 7 families in their region, Congressman Barr hopped in one of the two refrigerated trucks we’ve provided to distribute just some of the 300,000 lbs. of food Walmart donates each month.  Mike Meadows, a retired UPS driver (who still owns his trucking license) volunteers 4 - 5 days per month to drive the truck to the food distribution points, told us “it makes you feel good to help others in need.”

We arrived at Falling Springs Park in Versailles, a food distribution point where we met Walmart Market Managers Toni Rodriguez and Cherie Hacker.  Much of the food that was distributed was donated directly from Cherie and Toni’s stores.  By the time we were done delivering packages, 144 families knew they wouldn’t have to worry about where their next meal was coming from.

Congressman Barr summed up that day by saying, “I was honored to participate with God’s Pantry and other community partners to join neighbor helping neighbor.  Today’s food drive is a great example of private partnerships and demonstrates the powerful impact they have on communities.”

For information on God’s Pantry Food Bank and the amazing work they do, please visit www.godspantryfoodbank.org.  For constituents of Congressman Andy Barr, please visit his website at www.barr.house.gov.