A father who unexpectedly lost his job after the business was padlocked for owing back taxes.
A mother who was fired for missing too much work because she was caring for her daughter after she suffered a traumatic brain injury in a New Year's Eve car crash.
These are two of the more than 2,300 families (approximately 6,900 people) that God's Pantry Food Bank feeds each month through our Fayette County Pantry Program.
What would life look like for these and other families if the program couldn't help them?
For 60 years, God's Pantry Food Bank has been providing this service, and the need has never been greater. Although the economy is recovering, the number of families who need food continues to increase by more than 10 percent each year.
This past year, the Pantry Program received $137,000 from the Urban County Government, providing 655,000 meals to families, the vast majority of which include children or the elderly. However, local government funding will drop to zero for the next two years unless a change is made to the city's proposed funding for social and human services, placing more than 1.3 million meals in jeopardy.
In order to continue to supply families with food needed for their tables, the current program funding of $137,186 a year for two fiscal years, beginning fiscal year 2016, must be maintained, at a minimum.
Our long-established collaborative partnerships with many other nonprofits, including the Hope Center, Community Action Council and Fayette County Public Schools, combined with a strong community-wide network and private giving, allows us to turn every dollar of investment into $10 worth of food. All of those contributions mean that the food bank can continue to operate four pantries in Lexington.
God's Pantry submitted a request of $375,000 for the Pantry Program. With full funding, we can look to open more pantry locations aimed at targeting those neighbors unable to access food.
We strongly urge local leaders to protect anti-hunger programs by adding dollars to the social-services budget, looking at the grant allocation for the next two fiscal years with fresh eyes and an open heart.
If you have any doubt families are struggling throughout Lexington, go to GodsPantryFoodBank.org and meet people whose lives are affected by this program.
We, along with our board of directors, staff and thousands of supporters, on behalf of Lexington's hungry, ask that the Urban County Government fund God's Pantry Food Bank Fayette County Pantry Program at least at the same level as the current appropriation.
Together, we can solve hunger.