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'I'm glad we got something to eat': Thousands of food items to be donated to hungry households

It’s a task that’s proven to be more difficult since the pandemic.

SCOTT COUNTY, Ind — The New Washington State Bank donated more than 5,500 food items to the REACH! program on Tuesday to help keep hungry households fed this winter.

The company contest asked employees to collect canned goods and other food. They met with REACH! founder Tracy Patton at the Scottsburg location parking lot to deliver the donations.

“’How cool,’ we thought, ‘very nice, very nice’ and then when they called with that final total of 5,507 items, it was just like ‘oh my gosh,’ beyond our wildest dreams,” Patton said.

The REACH! program is made up of more than 150 volunteers who deliver to dozens of homes a day across 10 counties in Southern Indiana, and four counties in Kentucky.

It’s a task that’s proven to be more difficult since the pandemic. Patton said there are more families asking for help, but less donations coming in.

“People will say, ‘I'm sorry, I can only give one can or one jar of peanut butter,’ that's all it takes,” she expressed.

The thousands of food items donated by NWSB will feed hundreds of mouths, including Nathaniel Mitchell, 14 and his four siblings.

“My mom she can't really get a lot of food for us, and I'm glad we got something to eat,” said Mitchell.

“We see the real need in the community right now, and I think it's up to the people who are doing well to help support the ones that are not,” NWSB President, Pat Daily said.

The REACH trailer was stuffed to the top with snacks and some of those items will be delivered as early as Wednesday.

“It makes me feel happy because you can care about somebody and still not know them,” Mitchell said.

The REACH! food program also helps local schools with school supplies, snacks, personal hygiene items, and extra food to send home with children on the weekends and during breaks from school.

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