Hunger in the Mountains
Compassion Ministries loves helping hungry people in remote areas of Appalachia. Our latest remote food distributions can be seen on this page along with a brief description of the events. At the bottom are links to older food distributions in many of the places that we have been.
Emerald Youth Foundation - June 12, 2021
Coker Creek Elementary School - May 22, 2021
Jellico High School - April 17, 2021
We had another wonderful mobile food pantry on Saturday, 17 April 2021, at Jellico High School, Jellico Tennessee. While rain was forecast, it held off and was a beautiful day with lots of smiling faces. Even one year plus since the start of COVID, there are still lots of people suffering from loss of job and poverty. However, there seemed to be an overwhelming sense of joy from the customers and the volunteers. Four-Hundred and Fifty-Five families were given food which represented 1,430+ family members.
Our sponsor for this pantry was United Health Care. They did a great job of getting health care info out to the people as they waited in line. We had an abundance of friendly volunteers. One of the best was multiple members of the Campbell County Volunteer Rescue Squad. They assisted our staff in registering the customers and keeping traffic moving smoothly.
Besides the regular volunteers from our home church, Cornerstone Church of God in Farragut, we had lots of helpers from Christ Covenant Presbyterian, Pastor Harrold Preyor and several members from Grace and Glory Church, and many from Hope and Stand Church, whose pastor is Joey St. John, also the vice-principal of the high school. Members of the school staff also pitched in to help.
Toward the end of the pantry, a glorious treat for the customers arrived in the body of the Reid and Bellas families from Murfreesboro and Springfield TN. They minister on a regular basis to the families of Jellico and had arrived Saturday to hand out treats but found few to no customers there. They heard about our pantry and brought their goods to share with the people at the school. They had fresh hamburgers and hot dogs, baskets filled with candy and other goodies, and had Bibles for all who wanted one. They were such a blessing to the people, and we hope to work with them again in the future.
Fentress County Fair Grounds - March 27, 2021
On Saturday, 27 March 2021, Compassion Ministries, with Mission of Hope working alongside us, conducted a Mobile Food Pantry at the Fentress County Fairgrounds in Jamestown, Tennessee. Also working with us, United Health Care, was a great friend for the people there providing info on health care. We had many volunteers from the Jamestown area plus Andy Phier and several of his fellow church members, volunteered and fell right in with us. Along with all these, the Gideons gave every family a Bible. Approximately 600 families came to receive help for their family on an extremely rainy, stormy day. It rained and rained, yet through it all, several helpers noted they heard not one complaint. It reminds me of my day of baptism many years ago. With the water washing over me, I felt and received the blessings of God. That was the way it seemed through the rain. Those receiving food and those giving out food – all seemed to receive a blessing beyond measure.
Jellico Elementary School - October 10, 2020
On Saturday, 10 Oct 2020
, Compassion Ministries conducted a mobile food distribution, in the parking lot of the school. While there are still lots of folks being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we had many people tell us, “We really appreciate you coming out and helping our community.”, or “This has been a rough year and just when I thought I had made it, I lost my job and we’ve had a difficult time.” These thankful hearts make this job a true blessing.
At Jellico, we served 441 families, representing more than 1,513 family members, from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. There was lots of rain just before we began setting up but we only experienced misty rain throughout the day. We worked with the city of Jellico and the school staff to get the word out regarding the pantry. But the ones who probably helped us the most, were multiple members of the Campbell County Volunteer Rescue Squad; they were there from the time we arrived until we closed it down, and helped keep the traffic moving and in some sort of order.
Beside our regular volunteers from Cornerstone Church, we had great help from members from the school staff and Grace & Glory Fellowship. Along with the group from Grace & Glory, was Mr. George Vaughn came along to help. Mr. Vaughn is 87-years old and worked the bread station all day. God has no limits on the age nor the physical ability of volunteers. We will find a position/job for you and we could not do these pantries without the continued assistance of these and many other volunteers.
As we have done since the pandemic first started and to protect our customers (and volunteers) from possible contamination, they arrived in their car, we gained required information, and told them to open their trunk, and drive by the service areas where the volunteer staff loaded food into their trunks.
Philadelphia Elementary - September 12, 2020
On Saturday, 12 Sep 2020, we conducted a mobile food distribution, in partnership with United Health Care. Our location
was in the parking lot of the elementary school. While there are still lots of folks being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,
we had many people tell us, “You don’t know how much this means. It’s been a rough year so far.” We served approximately
261 families, representing more than 1,015 family members, from 10:00 AM-2:45 PM: at the end working in a driving
rainstorm. Compassion worked with the city of Philadelphia and the school staff to get the word out regarding the pantry
and the times (assisted by an article in The Connection, a part of the Herald paper distributed across Loudon county).
As we have done since the pandemic first started and to protect our customers (and volunteers) from possible contamination,
they arrived in their car, we gained required information, and told them to open their trunk, and drive by the service areas
where the volunteer staff loaded food into their trunks.
Beside our regular volunteers from Cornerstone Church, we had great help from both Tellico Community Church and Grace
& Glory Fellowship. We could not do these pantries without the continued assistance of these and many other volunteers.
This time, besides our volunteers and customers, we were blessed by three private donations. The first was a
much-appreciated milk donation from Davis Brother’s Dairy, represented by Ms. Rita Davis, and her daughter, Ms.
Samantha Davis Craun. They milk over 800 cows 3-times daily and donated over 300 gallons of Mayfield milk. Mayfield is
the primary purchaser of Davis’ dairy products. Then Sweetwater Valley Cheese provided huge amounts of locally produced
cheese, and the most beautiful fresh produce was donated by local farmer, Mr. Frank Smith.
Linden Elementary - August 15, 2020
On Saturday, 15 Aug 2020, we conducted a mobile food pantry, in partnership with TVA. Our location was the Linden Elementary School, Anderson County TN. We worked closely with the school staff, a large group from Grace & Glory Church, and one of our favorites, the youth, and their leaders from Christ Covenant Presbyterian from Farragut. Plus, we had volunteers show from the local community. As always, we had several long-time volunteers from Cornerstone Church.
We provided food for 193 family units, serving 741 individuals overall. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we still must place the food in the customers car. This greatly limits the one-on-one interaction with the people and volunteers. So, we hope this restriction is lifted real soon. Below are a few pictures from the day. One thing we did not photograph were the rainstorms which drenched us a couple of times during the day.
In the end, talking with a representative from Linden Elementary, she told me, “The people were in awe of the amount of food they were given. As they left, many stopped and told me they never expected this much.”
Many stated, “There must be $3-400 worth of food here.”
And they were right.