God's Pantry

The logo for God’s Pantry Food Bank.

Food is a basic human right to Karen Griffin.

Griffin joined God’s Pantry as a manager around a year ago after learning about the struggles Eastern Kentucky families go through to provide food for the table.

She has experienced many stories and realized that hunger does not have a specific face.

“One child opened the box and saw that there was mac and cheese. He pulled it out and was jumping up and down,” said Griffin. “It reminded me of a kid opening a bicycle at Christmas.”

The organization’s mission is to reduce hunger by working together to feed Kentucky communities. They aim to deliver hope to others.

“The food bank has had the mentality to lean in into where the food has been needed,” said Griffin. “We have increased our distribution to counties where there are not super strong agencies to help distribute food.”

Because of Covid-19, the organization could no longer hold in-person events like the annual Chili War, so Griffin decided to hold a virtual food drive to raise funds to support the work the organization.

Griffin recently attended a drive where she and her team were handing out food and had a very emotional interaction with a community member.

“She was so thankful that there was a place to go to help. Because she never needed it before and never knew something like that existed,” said Griffin. “You never know what people are going through.”

The pandemic also cut off her volunteers and Griffin faced a struggle of having food that would come in but did not know how to get it back out.

“When I look out there, I do not want to see much food here in the warehouse, because when there is a lot of food here, it means it is not on someone’s table,” said Griffin.