The Outreach Committee has recently made a donation to St. James Episcopal Church in Prestonsburg, Kentucky. St. James is led by The Rev. Stanley McGraw and his wife The Rev. Jean McGraw, Deacon, who will be ordained to the priesthood this winter. Stan and Jean are the parents of All Saints’ parishioner Scott McGraw.
Prestonsburg is located in Floyd County in Eastern Kentucky, in the Appalachian Mountains, and The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) lists Floyd County as one of the 32 counties in Kentucky that are distressed economically. ARC classifies a county as distressed if the county has a three-year average unemployment rate at least 1.25 times the national average, per capita market income no greater than two-thirds of the national average, and poverty rates at least 1.25 times the national average.
To reach out to the local community, St James provides a food pantry for citizens in Prestonsburg who are at or below poverty level. It is open four Tuesdays a month from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. and is staffed by volunteers from St. James. The pantry, known as “Fishes and Loaves,” serves about 160 families a month. The pantry is funded solely by donations, and food is purchased from God’s Pantry Food Bank, which collects and distributes food across central and eastern Kentucky, or from the local grocery store. The Boy Scouts of Floyd County also host an annual food drive which supplies non- perishables to the pantry. At Christmas, the pantry purchases turkeys and prepares gift baskets of food for each family that comes to the pantry. The church that supports this effort has a membership of approximately 30 people! It is essentially a mission church whose primary purpose is to host the food pantry.
The Outreach Commission is planning to have a “Virtual Food Drive” for “Fishes and Loaves” during June. We are seeking contributions for staples and perishables which we will turn into gift cards to be sent to the McGraws in Prestonsburg. Look for our display in the Narthex, and please give prayerful consideration to lending a hand to those in need through our Virtual Food Drive.