“We Are Very Grateful”

When several big businesses closed in Mason County, Kentucky, the local economy was hit hard. Then came the pandemic. Then came inflation and soaring grocery prices.

“The need has grown dramatically,” says Ashley, coordinator of the Mason County Youth Center. “About half of our students live at the poverty level.”

Freestore Foodbank is helping to meet those needs with in-school food pantries throughout our service area. Today, we have 54 sites across 17 tristate counties.

The school pantries help students and families in an accessible, supportive environment. Last year, the pantries served more than 36,000 individuals with 580,000 pounds of vital food, including fresh produce, supporting healthy eating — and learning — during childhood, so kids could focus on education rather than hunger.

One Mason County mom is very thankful.

“Without the school food pantry, we would have really struggled,” she says. “My grocery trip can be overwhelming, especially with food costs these days.

“I love that I can receive food without any judgment. There have been times I didn’t know what I would feed my kids for dinner, but the program always provides just what we need! We are very grateful!”