Empty Stocking Fund helps put food on the table
ROCK SPRING, GA (WRCB) - Hundreds of North Georgia families are thankful to have food on the table that they may not have been able to afford otherwise.
It's all thanks to the kind actions of several volunteers, non-profits, businesses and emergency responders in Walker County who pulled together to feed their neighbors in need.
It's the 29th year for the Empty Stocking Fund, and organizers say the need is even greater this year. More than 600 families lined up in Rock Spring Friday morning to have their cars filled with free groceries.
"Making ends meet, month to month, just do what we can do," Rita Davis said.
What many take for granted, is a present of love and necessity for these families who struggle to get by year-round, but especially during the holidays.
"We just have a hard time around Christmas. My husband's a roofer and this time of year you know, that kind of work is kind of hard," Marie Hunter said.
"It's very hard around my house. I mean we don't have very much money to buy the kids anything, so I mean we do what we can," April Cureton said.
The Empty Stocking Fund bought around $17,000 of whole sale groceries that will feed close to 2,000 people over the holidays. The recipients had to apply ahead of time and meet certain income requirements.
"Our community, a lot of us are still losing our jobs and are going through tough times, so this year we're prepared for more families than ever before," Empty Stocking Fund Chairperson Ales Campbell said.
Car after car pulled through as these organized elves load them up with things like canned vegetables, bread, rice, chicken and even cake mix.
"It's great. The kids love it. They especially love the apples and oranges," Cureton said.
It's what these dozens of volunteers say the holidays should be all about.
"It's important for our community to pull together and help each other," Campbell said.
"Who all's involved in it, may God bless them all," Judy Davis said.
The United Way supported charity purchased the food in bulk, so they got a deal. One of those bags would've cost each family around $65 if they'd bought it themselves. Any leftovers will be donated to the Care Mission in Lafayette.