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Five Loaves Food Pantry Friday Food Dispersal Helping Hundreds Weekly

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Five Loaves Food Pantry Friday Food Dispersal Helping Hundreds Weekly

Five Loaves Food Pantry provides food every Friday to Overton County families that cannot afford them.

Director Doylene Farley said that when the program started in 2011, members of Vine Ridge Missionary Baptist Church gave out food from their personal pantries to six families monthly. In 2023, they serve a box of food to so many more, especially elderly people in fixed incomes.

“We serve 300 families a week a food box that you can tell they really need,” Farley said. “The stories, the struggles people have right now, especially with inflation being so high, people are hurting.”

Farley said they have partnered with several food pantries and grocery stores that provide them with food to serve. Farley said that rather than serving foods like peanut butter and macaroni and cheese, Five Loaves focuses on serving them stable items like flour, sugar, and oil that people can use for weeks.

“To be able to know that you’re helping a family, either an elderly couple or a young couple who has kids, to eat and not worry about if they have money to buy their medicine because we’ve provided them with food for the week, that in itself is an award,” Farley said.

Farley said she believes that the pantry will just keep growing. Farley said that they had five new families receive food this week alone, and that number is likely to continue to increase as word spreads about the pantry.

Second Harvest Food Bank is currently the largest provider of food for the pantry. Second Harvest supplies a free shipment three times a month. Farley said that Feed America First, Feed the Children, and Operation Share also provide them with food, as well as several local stores such as Publix and Food Lion.

Families in need can receive food boxes Friday from noon to 4pm by lining up in cars. Farley said that in addition to ingredients like corn mill, flour, and sugar, frozen meats are one of the most valuable items that they give out.


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