Each month the Ohio County Food Pantry provides hope to over 1,000 people. As one of our three partner agencies in Ohio County, they provide food assistance to families, seniors, and children who are struggling to meet their own needs. This assistance allows those they serve to breathe just a little easier, to have hope that things will get better, and that there are people who care about them.
One of those people is Patti Boone, a volunteer at the Food Pantry. Patti, who is originally from Ohio County and now lives in Hartford with her family, has been involved with the organization for almost 10 years. “The church I was a member of was involved with the food pantry and I started volunteering,” says Patti. When she isn’t working as an oncology nurse at Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center in Owensboro, Patti is volunteering as the pantry’s secretary/treasurer. But Patti isn’t the only one who works hard to make sure those in Beaver Dam, Hartford, and the surrounding areas have food on their tables. “Our volunteers work together so well, do anything that needs to be done, and care about the people who come to the food pantry – we are like a big family!” says Patti.
A “big family” is key when you are feeding thousands of people each month. In addition to providing food items to over 500 families each month at their food pantry, the agency also ensures that approximately 200 senior citizens receive their CSFP (government commodities for seniors) box each month. But to Patti, the most rewarding part of her role at the Ohio County Food Pantry is her involvement in getting the BackPack Program started.
“We have seen tremendous results in children’s lives from this program. The evaluation forms we receive tell us how much these children depend on this food every weekend,” said Patti. Each week 250 students across the county receive food for the weekend through this program; food that provides them hope and nourishment until Monday when they can once again count on school meals to fill their bellies.
It may seem like a lot of work, especially for volunteers, but the Ohio County Food Pantry “family” has plenty to keep them motivated. “So many people tell us how grateful they are for the food pantry and how much it helps. Knowing they can get help with food takes some of the stress off for them,” says Patti.