LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Saturday morning the 26th annual Youth For Food Collection kicked off at Watkins United Methodist Church.
Families spent the morning collecting food that will go to Eastern Area Community Ministries.
“I know personally we’re taking five areas maybe more depending on how much time we have today,” 15-year-old Eli Everette said.
It’s a tradition that happens every year, but this year, the need is huge.
“People are just really struggling getting their food, so this is like the most important year for us to do it,” 17-year-old Elizabeth Hall said.
The pantry told found and organizer Jeff Merman the need is five times what it normally is this year because of COVID-19. When the collection started 26 years ago, the operation was a lot smaller.
“The first year I think we collected 1,600 cans,” Merman said.
They aimed to collect about 10,000 cans but Saturday the food collection yielded the highest in their 26 years with 16,280 donations.
Now, they’re collecting about 10,000 cans, which is enough to keep the pantry at Eastern Area Community Ministries stocked for three months.
Last week, volunteers put flyers around the neighborhoods, asking people to put bags of food out on their porches for collection.
Saturday, they drove to those locations to pick up the food and bring it back to the church to put it in boxes and prepare to take it to the pantry.
It’s the season of giving, and these volunteers are making sure no one spends the holidays hungry.
“It’s our duty to help others who don’t have as much as we do,” St. Bernadette Church volunteer Michelle Schofield said.
If you would like to donate food, you can drop it off at any Dare to Care box, or bring it to St. Bernadette Catholic Church or Watkins Memorial United Methodist Church on Sunday.