Rockcastle County Schools Partner with Food Pantry to Meet Needs in the Community

MOUNT VERNON, Ky. — Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) and the Rockcastle County School District has had a long-standing partnership of serving students and their families. This foundation opened doors to continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations under the constraints of guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“The partnership between CAP and the Rockcastle County School District is making an enormous impact during these critical and uncertain times,” said Sherri Barnett, manager of CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry. “Together, we’re not only addressing the students’ needs but the entire family. With the donations received to date, over 3,000 pounds of perishable food and dairy products, we are able to provide the much-needed items that are currently scarce on grocery store shelves.”

Carrie Ballinger, Rockcastle County Schools director of student services, agreed. “In this unprecedented time of emergency, we needed to be 100 percent sure that our Rockcastle County families would have enough food. This partnership with CAP has allowed us to coordinate our resources to make certain that all families in need of food or other resources are properly taken care of.”

The school district has helped the pantry over the years through sharing resources to make certain that the most vulnerable families in our school district receive needed resources and that we are communicating needs between agencies. High school students from the Honors Club have packed food boxes at the CAP’s Grateful Bread Food Pantry for seniors in the community, many who live below the poverty line. School children from elementary to high school annually support the Hunger Walk which raises awareness about food insecurity in the community.

Many Rockcastle County Schools students are being raised by their grandparents. Through referrals received by school Family Resource Centers and through the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program, the district is working with CAP to make certain that seniors also have their needs addressed. This partnership is allowing all members of the community to be served during this health emergency.

“We are so thankful for this partnership, it helps us to make an impact not only for our students but also the seniors that are in need of food,” Barnett added. “CAP also fills approximately 450 food backpacks a month for three of our local schools. This is a wonderful community that comes together in times of need to help take care of the most vulnerable among us.”

Referrals are being taken on a daily basis at both the school level and through Central Office. Each school principal is at school each day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to receive calls from families. The Central Office is also open during this time for community calls. Students and families that have a specific need are encouraged to reach out by phone or email.

For additional information about Christian Appalachian Project, please visit

Christian Appalachian Project has been building hope, transforming lives, and sharing Christ’s love through service in Appalachia since its founding more than 50 years ago. With the help of donors, volunteers, staff, and the communities it serves, CAP has grown to impact the lives of more than 1 million people each year.

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