By LEAH STRATMANN
The first day after the Labor Day holiday brought no surcease to the needs of the rural poor in north Walton County. The first pantry in September revealed 125 families applying for assistance in feeding their families, despite the fact that a good summer season employed many of these same people.
“This is a summer where people have a job, It’s not getting better. It’s getting worse,” he noted.
The pantry got some good news when they were informed that the Rockefeller foundation came in through Catholic Charities and BP told them they were prepared to provide another freezer, a generator, and an insulated shelf. The generator would kick in during storms to preserve the pantry’s food. The grant also provides enough cash to provide food for two years, approximately $75,000 per year.
If it becomes necessary to use the generator, firewood is being collected for use in wood burning stoves. Clients are being urged to bring firewood to the Muscogee Tribal Nation where it would be provided to those who need it, and sold at a sharp discount to others. “It becomes a way in which those who receive help can give back some to the rural effort,” Tucker noted.