• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Food drive planned this weekend volunteers needed

LEAH VANZANT has organized a community food drive this weekend as a way to give back to her hometown. On Feb. 20 and 21, volunteers will give shoppers at Kroger a list of items needed by the Food Pantry for Woodford County. Vanzant is pictured with her kids, from left, Chelsea, Owen and Morgan Warder. (Amanda Hacker Photography)

Local business owner Leah Vanzant has organized a food drive this weekend to replenish the inventory of the Food Pantry for Woodford County, she said. “One of my goals,” said Vanzant, “is to do a community event or a volunteer event every month, because I believe that brings wholeness and wellness to the people involved, and the community too.” So on Saturday, Feb. 20, and Sunday, Feb. 21, the Versailles native, her friend since high school, Ashley Webb, who also works with her, and other volunteers will provide lists of needed items to shoppers at Kroger. Canned potatoes, meats (tuna, salmon and chicken) and greens, as well as bar soap and toothpaste are among the most needed food and personal care items, Sharon Hardin, executive director of the food pantry, said. Some food pantry clients have not received unemployment checks and that has become a real issue for them, she added. Although many local food drives have not occurred because of the pandemic, Hardin said Kroger and Save A Lot have been able to help out more. And Versailles Boys Scout Troop No. 32 collected 3,600 pounds of food donations in four hours, she said. Some families have also been making weekly donations to help maintain the food pantry’s inventory, she said. “It is unbelievable what (people, churches, organizations and businesses in) the county do to keep us going,” Hardin said. She said an average of 120 families a month needed the Food Pantry for Woodford County’s assistance last year. Anyone who would like to volunteer for the food drives scheduled Saturday and Sunday may sign up online by visiting evolve180ky.com or //fb.me/e/1x6vjnxqh. The more people who volunteer, the longer the food drive will last each day, Vanzant said. Her dad, Don, was the pastor at First Christian Church in Versailles, so Vanzant was “always very aware” there were needs in the community, she said. The certified master life coach said a food drive is “a great way to give back.” Vanzant said she and Webb, Woodford County High School Class of 1997 graduates, reconnected several years ago, when Vanzant invited friends to join her and her kids as volunteers at Lighthouse Ministries. They prepared and served meals to the homeless, she said. Vanzant said she will earn a master’s degree in human development and counseling in May 2022, and wants to work within the community to battle addiction.

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