Local Church pantries feeding families

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By Felicia Gray

LaRue County is home to nearly 70 churches. To many people, churches are a place to meet people, help people, and find help.


Though some focus on helping the world in a more broad sense, many of these churches make it their mission to reach out to those in need locally. Programs like food pantries and other outreach ministries are popping up everywhere, and not just in large churches, but small ones too.

LaRue County Church of Christ has an average Sunday attendance somewhere between 30 and 40 people – yet, this small church’s monthly food pantry often serves a whopping 160 or more families.

In this case, it’s not the size of the church’s collective pocketbook that matters as much as the work put in.

“All physically able people in the congregation—from children to adults—assist in getting the food ready,” said Ruth Riddle, who runs the church’s pantry. “Everyone is involved in the program.”

“What really makes it impressive, is we’re not young anymore and our congregation isn’t young – but they work as hard as any 30-year-olds I’ve ever seen,” said Bro. Charles Wilson, who preaches at the church.

The Church of Christ has had a food pantry for about 15 years and gets the majority of their food through Feeding America, but they do try to provide fresh fruits and vegetables when possible. Feeding America, a nonprofit organization devoted to ending domestic hunger, supplies 61,000 total food pantries, community shelters, and emergency shelters in the United States, according to their website, feedingamerica.org.

Hodgenville United Methodist Church’s monthly food pantry serves about 120-150 LaRue County families. Much of their dry, frozen and boxed food is supplied by Kentucky Heartland Feeding America, and the rest is either donated or bought later.

Though they do require families to sign in, they don’t have to go to any worship services to receive help. Bro. Robert “Bob” Howell said the main purpose of the sign-in is so that they know how many families they have helped.

When Howell began pastoring the church four years ago, the pantry served about 60 families – about half as much as their current number.

Though their main concern is food, they also give away a few hygiene items and laundry or dish soap.

Mount Moriah’s food ministry supports other local food pantries, as well as delivering food boxes throughout the year to families in need and especially during the holidays.

Many other churches offer food by request, including Salem Christian Church. These churches often don’t have the means to have a monthly or weekly food pantry, but they do what they can to help the community.

Salem Christian also does their best to help widows and those who are disabled, whether it be with an encouraging note or gift, a ride, or mowing someone’s lawn.

“Even though we’re small, we can still serve in some way,” said Marsha Duncan, volunteer youth leader and planning committee member for Salem Christian. “If we know there’s a family that has a need then we’ll try to help them.”

Other programs include Magnolia Cumberland Presbyterian’s food pantry and mission store, South Fork Baptist’s monthly food and clothing giveaway, and Hodgenville Christian’s help for unexpected needs, “Manna Ministries.”

Hodgenville Christian Church

  • 100 West Main Street, Hodgenville, KY 42748
  • Manna Ministries, every Sunday at 6 p.m.
  • Help with small emergencies. Committee presentation after their worship program and refreshments at 6 p.m. every Sunday in the Annex. For more information, call 270-358-4049

Hodgenville United Methodist Church

  • 730 Tonieville Road, Hodgenville, KY 42748
  • Food Pantry, 5 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month.
  • Call 270-358-3028 for more information.

LaRue County Church of Christ

  • 1136 Old Elizabethtown Road. Hodgenville, KY 42748
  • Food Pantry, 6-7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday; and 9:30 a.m. to noon on the fourth Friday of the month.
  • Call 270-358-9812 for more information.

Magnolia Cumberland Presbyterian Church

  • 235 Old L&N Turnpike, Magnolia, KY 42757
  • Food pantry every Tuesday at 5 p.m. and Mission Store
  • Call 270-324-3472 for more information.

Mount Moriah Baptist Church

  • 4893 Mt. Sherman Road, Mt. Sherman, KY 42764
  • Food Boxes Ministry
  • Call 270-324-3679 for more information.

South Fork Baptist Church

  • 4915 New Jackson Highway, Hodgenville, KY 42748
  • Clothing and food giveaway on the last Sunday of every month, sign in at 9:30 a.m.
  • Call 270-325-3626 for more information.