At Americans Helping Americans® we fight food insecurity in Appalachia in a variety of ways including by providing food boxes to struggling low-income families and the elderly and disabled getting by on meager fixed incomes, supporting a food delivery program in rural Kentucky for those who cannot get out to drive miles to the nearest grocery store, and gardening programs to help families grow their own vegetables and fruits.
This spring, we are shipping nearly 2,600 20-pound boxes of nonperishable food items containing chunk chicken breast and canned tuna, beans, rice, pasta, tomato sauce, canned chili, canned vegetables and fruit, peanut butter, raisins and dried fruit, and more to our grassroots partners in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and elsewhere.
“Our local food banks have really been suffering lately and have struggled to maintain enough food,” reported our partner in North Carolina.
For those who cannot drive to pick up their food at food pantries, our partner in Beattyville, Kentucky, Cumberland Mountain Outreach, operates its “Little Red Riding Hood” groceries and food bank delivery service supported by Americans Helping Americans® to bring food to senior citizens, people with disabilities and families who cannot get food delivered any other way.
“Because of the ruralness of this Appalachia area many families have lost income, and senior citizens and the physically frail cannot leave their homes,” says CMO President/CEO Cynthia Evanoff.
She explained that in order to be eligible for the food deliveries, recipients must qualify for U.S. Department of Agriculture commodity foods
but and cannot are unable to make it to town to pick it up themselves. and If the USDA beneficiaries miss their pickup dates for two months “they will lose their food membership.”
In order to ensure they qualify for the food delivery service, CMO requires proof of USDA membership or referrals from human services agencies.
“If this program was not funded, families wouldn’t have this home delivery service,” said Cynthia. “We are helping to alleviate hunger.”
In Virginia and Kentucky Americans Helping Americans® supports gardening programs providing knowledge, seeds and seedlings, tools and more to families who want to eat healthier and save money.
In Marion, Virginia, our partner, Sprouting Hope, operates its Homegrown Program which does just that.
“A lot of our participants have very little knowledge about gardening but want to gain skills specifically due to generational gaps in education and overall wanting to be more self-sustainable, which is what the whole program is all about,” says Sprouting Hope’s Jennifer Watson.
“It is very fulfilling to see them learning and wanting others to be involved as well,” she added. “Thank you for all of your support in giving this community this opportunity. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for this program.”