PIKEVILLE, BLEDSOE COUNTY (WRCB) -- Unemployment is taking its toll on many who say they're just trying to survive. Now one Pikeville church has stepped up to help those in need.
Bledsoe County has been one of the hardest hit area's for the past couple years. Locals say they're still feeling the trickle down affect from manufacturers like Eclipse and Dura Automotive closing.
"There's people in Pikeville and Dunlap that are going hungry. That's one of the reasons I'm doing this, they need to know they're here seven days a week, call them (Lee Station Baptist Church) you don't have to go hungry," says local, Tina Millard.
Millard knows first hand, she's part of the near 10 percent unemployment rate in Bledsoe County. She and her sister also know first hand just how helpful Bill Wolfe and the food bank at Lee Station Baptist Church have become.
Wolfe says, "We're not here to judge, we're not here to make them feel bad, they feel bad enough having to come seek help. We're here as a source of encouragement and a source of love."
Aside from his full-time job at a local bank, Pastor Wolfe's phone is always on. Seven days a week, he finds a way to get food to those in need. All you have to do is ask.
For seven years a slow but steady flow of donations kept their food pantry stocked. He says they're feeding more now than ever before, almost 50 mouths a week.
Tina's sister Jennifer Frady says the increase is simply because people are realizing it's ok to seek help.
"You get hungry enough, especially with children, you're going to ask for help," she says. "Call brother Bill and he'll bring you food."
Jennifer is forever thankful for what the church has done for her. In fact, it's helped motivate her to earn a degree at Chattanooga State. She'll graduate in May as a certified welder.
Pastor Bill says if you're in the area and need food, you can call his cell phone: (423) 667-2287.
In the meantime, they're always accepting donations.