The Harvesting Hope food pantry and soup kitchen feeds more than 2,000 people in Boyle County every month.
Two of the food pantry’s biggest donors were forced to cut costs. That means charitable donations stopped and Harvesting Hope lost about 95% of its funding.
“In Danville and in Boyle County we have 29,000 people in our population and of those 29,000 people, 5,200 is the most recent number we have gotten of people who are hungry,” said Amber Sellars, Executive Director of Harvesting Hope.
Carrie Butler ate her dinner at Harvesting Hope. Since she moved to Danville about four years ago, she has been coming to the food pantry about once a month.
“If I were to go to Wal-Mart it would cost me $200, if I come here I don't have to pay nothing. It usually lasts me all month,” said Butler who is just one of about 2,500 people fed every month through Harvesting Hope’s food pantry and soup kitchen.
“Our job is to keep cutting into that number week-by-week, month-by-month, year-by-year and try to get those numbers down,” said Sellars.
October 1st Harvesting Hope’s funding was cut. Their two main financial backers who usually donated enough to cover 95% of costs, unexpectedly dropped their support. Harvesting Hope was expecting their check to cover October’s expenses.
“While we were relying on them, we are grateful for the time that we had with those organizations and their monies that were able to help feed thousands of people,” said Sellars. “It's kinda great, it’s now giving someone else an opportunity to stop forward and let it be my turn.”
Harvesting Hope is a 501c3 organization which needs about $25,000 a month to run successfully. Sellars says the have a lot of behind the scenes costs people don’t realize. They have to pay rent and utilities for their building at 464 South 4th Street in Danville in addition to paying 19 cents per pound of food when they don’t get donations among other costs.
Harvesting Hope also has a sister organization, The Hand Up Group which offers transitional living for women and children. The $25,000 a month cost is shared between The Hand Up Group and Harvesting Hope.
If no other funds come in, Harvesting Hope will run out of food in about four weeks. They are going on a week-by-week basis but Sellars is remaining hopeful.
“So far God has been so gracious and provided everything we need,” said Sellars. “We just keep being met head on with what we need each week so I hope that it continues that way.”
Ways to Help:
*Donate money- either a one time donation or monthly
*Organize a food drive
*Get a group together to organize something
*Get involved anyway you can