Missions Hopeful as Food Drives Stock Pantries
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Food collections for local missions, pantries and shelters are coming just in the nick of time. When the temperatures drop, the needs increase.

Each night at 5:30 hundreds of thousands of lights in Noble Park come on to celebrate Christmas in the Park and fill local food pantries. During Christmas in the Park, PPS employees and community volunteers man the Santa House at the park, collecting donations of money and nonperishable food for area helping agencies.  As of 2011, Christmas in the Park had generated $421,000 and 486,000 pounds of food for local food pantries.  All donations from Christmas in the Park activities go to Paducah Cooperative Ministry, Family Service Society and the Salvation Army.

Paducah Power coordinates a county-wide contest in schools where students compete to see who can collect the most food. Support your children, grandchildren, friends by taking nonperishable foods to their schools and help feed the needy. It's an annual event that works!    

Family Services Society is getting help filling its pantry during a Christmas Holiday Food Drive November 19th thru December 19th. Take non-perishable foods to the front lobby of Paducah Care and Rehabilitation Center, 501 North 3rd Street in Paducah between 7 am and 7 pm.

Western Baptist Hospital asks you to bring canned goods and non-perishable food for local food pantries to its "Stuff the Truck" food drive Tuesday, Dec. 4. The truck will be in the Baptist Imaging Center parking lot, opposite the parking garage at 27th and Kentucky, from 7 am to 6 pm. Hospital employees have collected canned goods for months in preparation for the food drive. Last year, Western Baptist staff and the community collected nearly 15,000 pounds of food. Food will be donated to Paducah Power's Christmas in the Park project for food pantries at The Salvation Army, Paducah Cooperative Ministry and Family Service Society.

For the third year in a row, Lourdes will once again partner with Paducah Power System for their annual Stuff-The-Truck holiday food drive on Wednesday, December 5.  They will be collecting non-perishable canned goods or dry goods for area food pantries.  You can also make a cash donation.  The semi trailer will be parked in front of Lourdes from 7 am – 6 pm.  All donations go to Family Service Society, Paducah Cooperative Ministry and the Salvation Army. Last year’s Stuff-The-Truck donations yielded 17,104 pounds of food.

In Murray, "Cram the Cruiser" is an annual campaign coordinated by the Kentucky State Police (KSP). Bring food to the Kroger supermarket from 10 am until 2 pm. KSP until December 14. All food collected will be distributed to local food pantries, for distribution to families in the Post 1 district. Anyone wishing to make a donation can come by the Kroger store in Murray and place items in the cruiser.

Alson in Murray, Feeding the Multitude, Calvary Temple PCG, RC Cola, Frito Lay and Dollar General are teaming up to provide Christmas for some local families in need this year. Join them Saturday December 1 between 10 am and 2 pm for lunch in the Dollar General parking lot, across from Roy Stewart stadium. Lunch will be a hot dog, chips, and a drink for only $2. While there shop for some great deals and be an angel to some families in need or just drop off a donation.  For more information on how you can help call 270-753-7389.

PCM provides a three to four day supply of groceries up to five times annually per individual or household, more if a genuine need is shown or a referral is made by a member church or other service organization. A typical food bag contains milk, peanut butter, bread, cereal, soup, pasta, beans, rice, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meat or fish. Quantity of food is adjusted according to the number in the household. Food is a combination of government commodities, donated non-perishables from the community, and surplus bakery and produce items from area businesses. PCM Executive Director Heidi Suhrheinrich says, "This community is generous and sensitive to the needs of the hungry. It's not unusual for PCM to mention a specific need and people show up with groceries in hand." For more info, visit or connect on Facebook.

Lt. Lorraina Crawford, Corps Officer with the Salvation Army, reports that both of its pantries are also low even with recent food drives. They depend on the generosity of the community to help make it through the holidays. The Salvation Army kettles with the familiar bell-ringers are located throughout the region. Donations placed in those kettles will make the difference in children having a Christmas dinner or not. All those nickel and dime donations together make a huge difference. They regularly provide for many who "slip through the cracks and have no other food supplies for their families." She and her husband, Lt. Joe Crawford, moved to Paducah last summer, and this is their first busy holiday season with our local Salvation Army. They too have been encouraged with the generosity of this community. 

Published 09:00 AM, Tuesday Nov. 27, 2012
Updated 06:54 AM, Wednesday Nov. 28, 2012

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