Eastern Kentucky University is collaborating with Kentucky River Foothills and Save the Children to distribute approximately 200 food boxes to families and individuals who are in need of supplemental groceries in Lower Powell on Friday, Oct. 23. The event will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Barry Poynter, senior vice president for finance and administration, took charge of the project and said these food drives have been happening all across America.
“We've worked closely with Kentucky River Foothills before with several projects. In my note it noted that we were collaborating with Save the Children and Kentucky River Foothills. They contacted us on Sunday, and these food distributions have been going on all across the nation and all across the counties,” Poynter said.
EKU President David McFaddin personally called Poynter to ask if he could help with the project and after some exploring, they utilized the refrigerators in closed Steak ‘n Shake to store the food.
“We really appreciate them thinking of us. The president called me on that Sunday and said ‘hey what do you think about this and can you help’, I said absolutely. So we took it from there and we identified a place to store the food. We found some refrigerators in Steak ‘n Shake which are kinda offline right now,” Poynter said.
There was an announcement last Friday for people to come help with the drive. There is also hope to keep the food distribution going on for the next two Fridays.
“I corralled some volunteers to help unload trucks and then we did the announcement last Friday and started handing them out. We are also going to be handing out some today. We hope to be able to do this for two more weeks if the provisions hold up,” Poynter said.
Poynter was able to get a group of volunteers last week and is hoping they, along with more people will come to help out.
“Last week we had probably 10 or 12 volunteers, a couple of student athletes came to help. Anyone that wants to help hand out stuff so we can move the line and keep everybody distanced and moving in one door and out the other. Hopefully, we will have 10 or 12 volunteers today if we can,” Poynter said.
Out of the 15 years that Poynter has worked at EKU, he could not recall another time the university had conducted a food drive like this one.
“I’ve been here for 15 years and I do not think we have done anything like this. Now you all know we have the colonel’s cupboard that’s been around for a while but that’s a little bit different. This is a free food distribution for anybody that wants it,” Poynter said.