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Local church coordinates resources to help food bank

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Russellville have been volunteering with the Meal Barrel Food Bank in Sheffield for several years, so when the pandemic took a toll on supplies, it seemed like the perfect chance for a partnership.

The church partnered with the food bank to contact an organization with surplus supplies out of Salt Lake City, Utah, about donating their excess supplies to the food bank.

“We are so grateful for organizations thinking of us and helping us,” said Meal Barrel Food Bank Director Penny Freeman. “We wouldn’t be able to do the stuff we do without them.”

The church was able to help bring 42,000 pounds of food to be donated to the food bank.

“One of our main missions with the church is to help others,” said Russellville Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints communications director Beatriz Pettus. “When we saw that they were struggling, we wanted to do whatever we could to help.”

The truck of 24 pallets of food was delivered May 13 from Salt Lake City.

This is the second large delivery the food bank has received, with the first donation coming in this past year at the start of the pandemic.

Donated items included canned foods, pastas and dry items.

“They have an area there where they are able to get fresh fruits and vegetables, so in combination with that, people are really able to get a pretty balanced meal with everything that has been donated,” Pettus said.