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Dare to Care volunteers band together to fight food insecurity in Kentuckiana

200 volunteers across 18 regional sites help maintain the relationship between Dare to Care and the food pantries distributing some of their stores.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Water ran down the side of George McNair's Ford F150 Friday afternoon. 

This is the truck he uses to transport hundreds of pounds of groceries to the St. Matthews Area Ministries' food distribution center. 

Dare to Care was at the ministry helping with chores required to keep operations at the ministry going. They have partners in every Louisville ZIP code distributing food.

McNair's been volunteering for 20 years and retired in the last six. It keeps him busy, but on Friday he had some help. Dozens of people showed up to pitch in.

They stocked food and diapers at the pantry, with two people even tackling the truck by washing the crew cab and six foot bed.

"They did an excellent job cleaning," McNair said. "This is the cleanest it's been, I think, since I've been driving it."

As a food bank, this usually falls out of Dare to Care's purview, but Friday was their Food Fight Day of Service. At 18 different food distribution sites, over 200 volunteers set out to help with the chores needed to keep operations going. 

The CEO of Dare to Care, Vincent James, wanted the day to be about building relationships. 

"We couldn't do the work we do without our partners," he said. "And so the stronger they are, the stronger we are. And the better we're able to serve our neighbors. And at the end of the day, that's what our focus is on—how do we get the right food at the right time, the kind of food that our neighbors are wanting, in their homes? The way we do that is through our partners."

Vincent said the demand for Dare to Care's services grew at least 30% in the last year. It's why help from volunteers is crucial to help with overhead costs.

"That's why we're able to stretch the dollar so far, is because of volunteers," he said. "And without them, it's not a sustainable model for us to be able to serve our neighbors."

Dave Russell, one of those volunteers, understands how high inflation contributes to food insecurity.

"Think about when you're already on a fixed and limited income and that was already a struggle for you, it just demonstrates the need is real and people need more and more of it and it's not going away anytime soon," he said.

Click here to volunteer at the St. Matthews Area Ministries' food distribution center or here to volunteer at Dare to Care. 

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