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In all areas, Dare to Care shows need does exist

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By Alex Wimsatt

  MOUNT WASHINGTON - It may be called the “land of milk and honey,” but, in reality, the community of Mount Washington faces the same thing as communities throughout the world.

Nearly one in 10 Mount Washingtonians live below poverty the poverty level according to 2010 U.S. Census Bureau statistics. 

Realizing the need that exists in the community, many local organizations and individuals are supporting a variety of initiatives to help ease the plight of those in need. 

This summer a group of concerned citizens banded together to bring a United States Department of Agriculture emergency food assistance program to Mount Washington. 

The Dare To Care food distribution center, which operates the third Saturday of every month out of the Mount Washington Lions Club building on Old Bardstown Road, provides food to city residents who meet certain income guidelines.

Jim Stumpf, who serves as co-director of the program with his wife Gloria, said volunteers worked hard to get the program in Mount Washington because there was such a need. 

“It was obvious there were numerous families that needed assistance,” Stumpf said. 

The Dare To Care program supplements the work of Mount Washington Community Ministries, a multi-denominational faith-based organization that provides emergency assistance to families in need with support from local churches.

As Stumpf explained, the need for assistance in Mount Washington has become so great that MWCM can’t keep its shelves stocked.

MWCM has even resorted to limiting the number of times individual families can receive assistance to four times a year because the resources are so few and the need is so great.

Stumpf, who also volunteers with community ministries said Dare To Care has lightened MWCM’s burden tremendously.

Since Dare To Care got its start in Mount Washington in May, Stumpf said 75-100 families have went to the distribution center each month. 

And thanks to the efforts of its volunteers, Stumpf said the program has been a resounding success and more and more families in need are taking advantage of the program. 

“I think this is very worthwhile,” Stumpf said. “It’s all positive. We’re gratified with the number of people coming and we’re gratified with the volunteers we have...this is a win-win for everyone.”

Stacey Keith, 35, of Mount Washington holds down a full-time job to support herself, her daughter and her disabled sister. 

Keith said the bills keep piling up and it’s all she can do to keep her head above water, much less keep her family fed, which is why she recently visited the Dare To Care food bank for the first time.

Until then she had never accepted any kind of public assistance.

Keith said she had a hard time asking for help, but it’s been hard keeping food on the table the past several months.

Mount Washington resident Rececca Horton, 55, has been going to the Dare To Care food bank every month since its inception and she said she didn’t know what she would do without it.

Horton’s primary source of income is from the Social Security Administration and she receives $89 per month in food stamps, but as she said that’s not nearly enough to live on. 

“A person needs more than $20 in groceries for a week,” she said. “I know a lot of other low-income families who are grateful for this program and we’re glad to see it.”

Pamela Jarrett, 53, of Mount Washington hasn’t been able to work since she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C eight years ago.

Like Horton, Jarrett’s primary source of income is from Social Security, however, she receives far less in food stamps. 

Jarrett said she gets $32 per month in food stamps and she goes to the Dare To Care food bank each month to help make ends meet.

“It’s wonderful,” she said. “It makes a big difference in my life.”

Mount Washington residents in need of assistance who meet the household income guidelines set forth by the USDA are invited to take advantage of Dare To Care’s food distribution center. 

Food is distributed 10 a.m. until noon the third Saturday of every month at the Mount Washington Lions Club building, 810 N. Bardstown Road.

Anyone who would like to volunteer is also welcome. 

For more information about the program or how to get involved the Stumpfs can be reached at usdafoodbankmwky@gmail.com. 

 

Dare To Care Food Banks in Bullitt County:

 

Distribution Center:

Little Flock Ministry Center

5510 N. Preston Hwy., Shepherdsville

(502) 955-8760

 

Mobile Pantry:

Lebanon Junction Community Center

123 N. Poplar St., Lebanon Junction

Third Thurs. of the month 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

 

Pantry:

Church of God of Prophecy

270 S. Poplar St., Lebanon Junction 

(502) 833-2251

 

Faith Baptist Bible Church

270 S. Sanders Ln., Lebanon Junction

(502) 833-4607

 

First Baptist Church

254 S. Buckman St.,Shepherdsville

(502) 955-7372

 

Mount Washington Community Ministries

320 N. Bardstown Rd., Mount Washington

(502) 538-8439

 

Victory Baptist Church

4420 Ridge Rd., Shepherdsville

(502) 543-4032

 

New Life Church of God

515 Raymond Rd., Shepherdsville

(502) 543-9402

 

Lebanon Junction Church of Christ

10989 S. Preston Hwy., Lebanon Junction

(270) 737-6643