COMMENTARY

Hunger needs in Ky. on increase during coronavirus pandemic

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It’s food distribution day at God’s Appalachian Partnership in Floyd County.  The cars and minivans are looped around the parking lot and building, waiting to receive food for their hungry families.  There has always been a need for help, but the need for food assistance has increased by more than 2 ½ times as a result of the coronavirus and the number of people out of work. 


Kentucky missionary and GAP director, John Morris, shares that they have transitioned to a drive-through distribution model.  Families remain in their cars while staff members with masks take their information and food order on a computer.  Inside the building, volunteers fill orders that are then placed into the trunks of vehicles. Hands are washed after each car before beginning another order. Since conversations and prayer with families can’t happen during the distribution as it normally would, each family receives a phone call that includes a gospel conversation and prayer. 


I am thankful for gospel-focused hunger relief ministries like GAP, but there is a growing concern that must be addressed.  Churches and ministries across the Commonwealth are squeezed between a shortage of resources and an increasing demand from needy families as the coronavirus pandemic has put unemployment by Kentuckians at an all-time high.  It’s sad to realize that families right here in Kentucky are having trouble putting food on their tables. We know that undernutrition weakens people’s immune systems and makes them more vulnerable to the coronavirus. Therefore, providing meals and food items to families that are food insecure is very important, especially at this time. 


However, the reality is many hunger relief ministries are lacking the financial resources to purchase needed food.  As a result, requests for Global Hunger Relief funds from the Kentucky Baptist Convention have increased in recent weeks. While donations to the KBC Global Hunger Relief fund have decreased over the past few years, the strategic value of those funds has increased dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic. The need for funds to help ministries like GAP provide physical and spiritual nourishment has never been greater. Global Hunger Relief funds have helped GAP to purchase food so that no one in need is turned away. 


Morris shared how grateful they are for the partnership of the KBC and hunger funds provided that “allow them to continue meeting people at their point of need and sharing with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ”.


Your church, or you individually, can give to Global Hunger Relief. Your financial gifts help the KBC to continue providing financial assistance to partnering hunger relief ministries who are helping feed families during this unprecedented time in history. 


Will you please consider giving so that hungry Kentuckians can be fed bread and the Bread of Life?  To donate, or for more information on Global Hunger Relief, visit www.kybaptist.org/hunger.

ERIC ALLEN is a team leader for the mission mobilization team for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.

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