Encouraging families in Licking
Volunteers at the United Community Help Center have been helping and encouraging people in Licking for many years. The food pantry serves about 120 families each month with USDA food provided by Ozarks Food Harvest, and they also provide emergency food assistance as needed. The organization also houses a thrift store.
Donetta James, the director of United Community Help Center, spends her days sorting donated clothes, preparing food for distribution, and helping families acquire emergency food assistance.
Over the years, she’s seen people facing a variety of challenges and life situations come to her organization for help.
“Sometimes, they come here having nothing but the clothes on their backs. They manage to find an apartment…we find them a bed and give them clothing and food to get through the hard times until they can find a job or get help to provide for their children,” she shared.
Since COVID-19 began, the pantry has seen many new faces. Some have been laid off, others have lost hours at work and many just need a little extra help to get through these unprecedented times.
“We see more families when the extra produce comes in. We send out messages on Facebook for anyone that needs help and we do get a lot of people that don’t usually come that way,” Donetta said.
United Community Help Center also helps encourage neighbors throughout the year by offering special Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, supplying several scholarships and making donations funded by the thrift shop. Donetta and her volunteers strive to help families in crisis however they can.
“Our future looks bright. God has truly blessed us,” she said.
The Food Bank is thankful for the support United Community Help Center offers to families in Licking. To learn more about how the pantry is making a difference, click here.