GOD’S FOOD PANTRY UPDATED
Louisa, KY: In an effort to help make things easier for those who come to God’s Food Pantry for weekly commodities you won’t have to keep up with a card to get food anymore.
God’s Food Pantry in Louisa is an effort of the Ministerial Association of local churches. Together, volunteers from local churches work to collect and distribute government commodities and local donations to provide supplemental food for those in need in Lawrence County. Traditionally, volunteers would issue a card to families who qualify and sign up for food. Families can come once each month for food and these cards would be punched for tracking. However, cards can be difficult to keep up with, so a little over a month ago the Food Pantry began implementing a new computer database. The database keeps up with when the families come in and there is no longer a need for families to keep up with cards.
The process requires families to give information on their first visit as this new system is implemented. Because government commodities are included in the food received, there are requirements to meet too. Each household constitutes one family, so if two families are sharing a home, they still count as one family all together. Families must live in Lawrence County. Identification, correct address, date of birth, number in the household and total household income must be recorded. Families are also asked if they receive food stamps. The income limitations are based on the national poverty guidelines. For example, a family of four can make up to $2,050. As long as families are at or under these guideline levels, they can receive food from God’s Food Pantry. And if a family has an emergency situation, the food pantry can provide food from our local donations.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this new system is the method of signature. Families have always signed for their food, but now, there is a little black screen that they sign on — and you can’t see your signature as you sign. This has been strange for folks, but volunteers can assure them that their signature looks great as it appears on the computer screen. “It’s really remarkable that people sign just fine without seeing what they are writing,” one volunteer said with a smile. “So I guess you really could write your signature in your sleep.”
Often people ask others to pick up their food and the system allows for that too. Individuals can assign an authorized person to pick up their food when they can’t.
“We’ve been using the system for a little over a month and so far it has been very smooth,” said a volunteer. “Once the information is in the system, signing for pick-ups is very quick and families don’t have to keep up with a card.”
“We hope that anyone who needs food, will be sure to come in and get some extra help. That’s what we are here for … and we don’t mind praying for folks either. They can add their prayer requests to our prayer list and we’ll pray for those request specifically. Isn’t that what Jesus would do?”
The Food Pantry is located behind Big Blue Auto and is open Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.