Area Charities See Benefit of United Way's Feed the Need Food Drive

By Melissa Warren | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- The United Way of Southern Kentucky's sixth annual Feed the Need food drive ended today, and it's promising to be the most successful year yet, with corporate participant Fruit of the Loom donating as many items this year as all Warren County donors combined donated last year!

Truckloads of food rolled into the Salvation Army this afternoon as volunteers began organizing it for distribution to area charities. One of them being Salvation Army itself.

"Without this program, we would not be able to sustain our food bank. That's the reality of it. The community is very generous, but with the need as big as it is, we cannot pull this off without the feed the need program," said Salvation Army Social Services Director Heather Gordon.

United Way of Southern Kentucky began Feed the Need in 2009 after the economy began to slide.

The Salvation Army has been with the program since then, and Gordon says that need hasn't gone away.

"We did almost 7,000 food boxes that year. We're already on traget to do twice as many, and we've increased our food boxes to four per year, to six per year. Yes, with the economy still the way it is, food stamps being decreased, and people's employment, yes, there's definately still a need," said Gordon.

Brass' 28-bed shelter served 360 women and children who were victims of domestic violence last year, and 2400 women through outreach programs in the BRADD region.

"In the last couple of years, our funding from the Emergency Food and Shelter funding was cut about in half," said Barren River Area Safe Space Finance Director Debbie Chandler.

They say having Feed the Need means they're still able to help victims.

"Anything that can help them stay independent from an abusive situation. Alot of times, the financial pressures make a woman want to go back to that abuser, and we try our best to give them the resources where they don't have to go back," said Chandler.

Feed the Need reached beyond these two programs to help organizations throughout the region.

Volunteers are still needed to help organize and distribute the food tomorrow morning. To learn how to donate your time to Feed the Need, see the related link.

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