Hundreds seeking help with food, other needs

Kathy Corbett checks the supplies inside the near empty food pantry on Tuesday at The Salvation Army. The organization needs canned goods, hygiene products, cleaning supplies and financial help.

The Salvation Army in Owensboro handed out food to about 800 families last week — 500 of them on Friday alone.

It normally handles about 200 families a month, Capt. Rebekah Abram said.

And the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Owensboro is getting hundreds of calls for assistance from people who have lost their jobs because of businesses being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been around since 1833,” Richard Remp-Morris, chief executive officer of the St. Vincent de Paul store, 200 E. 18th St., said of the organization, which began in Paris.

“We don’t run from disasters,” he said. “We run to them.”

Remp-Morris said the store is closed by order of the governor, but the organization is working hard behind the scenes to take care of needs.

“My phone is blowing up with offers to help,” he said. “I don’t want anyone to think that there are no resources available. Please call us and let us know.”

Calls from those wanting to help and those needing help should go to his cell phone, 270-315-5747, Remp-Morris said.

Although St. Vincent de Paul is a Catholic organization, he said, “Our work isn’t limited to Catholics. Most of those we help might be unchurched.”

Abram said the Big Dipper, Specialty Foods Group and Dunkin’ Donuts have helped with food for those in need.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the organization’s mobile canteen is taking hot meals into the lower-income areas of the city, she said.

Food boxes, hygiene items and cleaning supplies are available now at Salvation Army headquarters, 215 Ewing Road, Abram said.

People should bring a photo ID and tell the workers how many are in their household.

“Our food pantry is bare,” Abram said. “But we’re expecting more tomorrow.”

With the Help Office of Owensboro closing last week, both St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army are handling more calls.

Remp-Morris said with the St. Vincent de Paul store closed, money is coming only from donations.

Those who want to help can mail checks to St. Vincent de Paul, Box 1203, Owensboro, KY 42302.

The Salvation Army needs canned goods, hygiene products, cleaning supplies and financial help.

Checks can be mailed to Salvation Army, Box 943, Owensboro, KY 42302 or they can be dropped off at 215 Ewing Road.

Remp-Morris said people don’t have to worry about utilities being cut off during the pandemic.

But he said their bills will be even higher when it’s over and they’ll need help paying bills then.

“It’s a scary time for people,” Remp-Morris said. “We’re also helping shelter some displaced people in motels. But we want people to know that they are not a burden. This is what we do.”

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301

klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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