The holidays can be particularly stressful for families facing financial upheaval, and Jenny Gordy, Director of the Barton County Emergency Aid and the Barton County Food Bank has been collecting names of people who could use some extra help during this time.
Churches, organizations and individuals that want to make holiday baskets can contact her for names. “This way, more families can be helped through this holiday season,” Gordy said. She is only a clearinghouse for names. The Food Bank and Emergency Aid do not make or deliver any holiday food baskets.
Since the beginning of October, the food bank has helped 37 new families who have never before had to use the Food Bank. That’s a total of 108 people. Many will face choices like whether to pay for utilities or food and rent, some for the first time. They come to Emergency Aid for help. It is there that Gordy offers them an application to be eligible to receive a Christmas basket. Signing up does not ensure they will get a box, however. That depends on how many organizations or individuals are willing and able to help. She will continue to accept applications until Monday, Dec. 10. At that time, she will cut-off registration so those who are requesting names have a chance to get their shopping and wrapping completed. “I would hate to keep taking names and not have anyone who could help,” she said.
Gordy counts 1,301 clients in the Food Bank’s database. So far this year, at least 800 have used one of their four visits. It’s hard to predict exactly how many people will be in need this holiday season, but every year around the holidays, the numbers go up compared to the rest of the year.
“You don’t realize that there are that many people in the community that need the help,” she said. “We have quite a few in Great Bend.”
Emergency Aid and Food Bank are located at 3001 10th Street in Great Bend, KS. Gordy can be reached at 620-793-3345 or 620-792-4001. Donations to either venue are always welcome and appreciated.