Newton's Community Food Pantry needs help to fill shelves

COVINGTON --The shelves are just about bare at the Community Food Pantry of Newton County, but the demand for groceries has not abated, according to volunteer Bernice Bailey.

"These are real hard times and our donations are really off," Bailey said. "We'll take anything you can give us. We're not picky."

Bailey said their needs could be summarized in a word -- everything. Although she did emphasize that high protein items, such as canned meat, are really helpful. Also, such things as paper goods and toiletry items, things not allowed to be purchased with EBT cards, are also good to have.

Bailey said on average the pantry tries to dispense a week or 10 days worth of groceries to 30 or more families a week.

"We give the food according to the number in the family. If there's just two or three in the family, they usually get two to three bags (of groceries)," she explained. "But they can only come once every four months."

She said recently a request came in for a family where there were seven adults living in one house.

"This is just because people have been evicted or they have lost their jobs and moved in with some others," she said.

Bailey said a lot of their supplies come from food drives from churches and schools, but those are usually closer to the holidays and the demand for groceries goes on year-round. Any extra canned goods a family might have to offer will be of great assistance.

"We only serve Newton County residents. Everything they bring is given out here," she said.

The pantry has refrigerators and freezers for storing perishable items. With cash donations, they purchase hot dogs, bologna and margarine to have on hand.

Also, restaurants like Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Kroger grocery store donate items.

Donations are accepted at the facility located at 7129 Turner Lake Circle from 9-11 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.

For more information, call 770-784-0037.