More than 750,000 Kentuckians, or 17% of the state’s population, do not always know where their next meal will come from. Close to one in four of Kentucky’s children lack consistent access to enough food for a healthy, active lifestyle. Paducah Bank would like to change that statistic.
“Beginning in January of this year, Paducah Bank began a special initiative designed to support four local food providers in our community,” said Mardie Herndon, president of Paducah Bank. “For every 100 signature-based transactions Paducah Bank’s personal account customers make, the bank will contribute $1 to these four community projects.”
The bank will be contributing funds to the River City Mission, Community Kitchen, 4-H Food Backpack project and the Paducah Cooperative Ministry.
“We solicited information from local programs dedicated to working with our community’s hungry and these four projects were among those we believe provide important and sustaining food programs to the people of Paducah and McCracken County,” added Susan Guess, Senior Vice President of Marketing.
The River City Mission averages feeding and housing 55 to 65 people on a daily basis throughout the year. The Mission prepares three meals a day for individuals and families of all ages, including children, and serves more than 3,000 meals each month. The Mission is supported entirely by donations and has a budget of approximately $150,000.
The 4-H Food Backpack program feeds more than 400 children every week in the Paducah City and McCracken County schools. The group feeds elementary through high school students with non-perishable items. The group works with the Family Resource Centers to identify hungry children in the schools. Student volunteers work with the 4-H project to retrieve and assemble the food items for final distribution to each of the city and county school’s hungry youth.
The Paducah Cooperative Ministry has been providing emergency groceries to needy households in the city and county since 1973. Local administrators noted an unprecedented need in 2013. The organization went from serving a monthly average of 350 households to an average of nearly 500 last year. The Ministry often distributes a four-to-five day supply of food to households and families in need. Cooperative Ministry provided emergency groceries on more than 5,000 occasions.
The Community Kitchen is unique in the community as it is the only program serving meals five days a week to those in need. In 2013 the Kitchen served more than 56,000 meals. The non-profit organization operated totally on donations. This group has also noted a consistent increase in the numbers served in the past two years.
“The need is obviously present in our community to provide much-needed food and food services to those who cannot manage to put food on the table for themselves or their families,” said Herndon. “We hope, with the help of all of our customers, to reach a goal of $7,500 each quarter that can provide much-needed assistance to these four local food programs.”
Paducah Bank is an award-winning, locally-owned bank employing more than 150 people. Paducah Bank was named the Best Place to Work in Kentucky among medium-sized companies in 2006 and among the Top 15 Small Workplaces in America by the Wall Street Journal in 2008. They were also just named as one of the Top 50 social media banks in the world (16th in the US).