Jessamine County Food Pantry seeking volunteers for Thanksgiving giveaway

Published 9:54 am Friday, October 6, 2023

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It’s that time of the year when Jessamine County residents come together to ensure their neighbors are fed for the holidays.

At the end of November, the Jessamine County Food Pantry plans to donate Thanksgiving dinner boxes for families all over the county.

“Sometimes people just don’t know where they can look for help, and they don’t want to ask,” said the pantry’s operations director, Ruthann Richardson.

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The pantry serves 350 to 400 households every month regularly.

“In the Book of Matthew, it talks about the disciples asking Jesus- ‘When did we feed you, Lord?’ and Jesus said, ‘When you fed the least of these, you were doing it into me,’” Richardson said, explaining the “why” behind the food pantry.

“For Thanksgiving, we want to be able to provide a little extra for our families that are coming in as well because we know grocery prices are not getting any lower,” Richardson said.

The pantry enlists the help of local churches and businesses to gather uncooked donations for the Thanksgiving boxes. Community members donate items until Nov. 18, when the deliveries and pickups for needy families begin.

The boxes include all the ingredients for a robust Thanksgiving dinner, like mashed potatoes, green beans, turkey, and other fresh vegetables and fruit. Whatever the churches and businesses lack, they buy to ensure each family they are assigned has a full Thanksgiving dinner box.

Max Vanderpool, pastor of the Generations Community Church and volunteer for the pantry, said passing on the work of collecting donations to community members is “a way to engage community members and local churches in something that’s practical, and it allows the food pantry to focus its operation on the day to day, week to week needs of food.”

The pantry never stops its month-to-month functions, so the help of others is much needed.

Still, the pantry is asking volunteers to help assemble the boxes.

“So, if someone wanted to volunteer and help with that piece of it if they’re not able to financially give, but they want to give a bit of their time, we’re doing that the week before Thanksgiving. Contact the food pantry at (859) 312-4003 and leave a message telling us you’d like to volunteer for Thanksgiving,” Vanderpool said.

If you would like to sign up to collect and send out donations for the Thanksgiving boxes, contact Max Vanderpool at

If you or your family is in need of food for the Thanksgiving holiday and would like to sign up to receive a box, signups are being held from Oct. 2 to Nov. 11. To sign up, call the food pantry at (859) 312-4003 and tell them you’d like to receive a Thanksgiving box or go to the pantry in person at 104 South 2nd Street in Nicholasville. You can also sign up on the website at