Food delivered

Ramey Home residents loaded vans and pickup trucks Thursday morning with food being distributed by River Cities Harvest.

Shortly after 8 a.m. Thursday, a semi-trailer rig bearing the words “Feed the Children, Oklahoma City, Okla.” backed into the parking lot at Ben Williamson Supply Co. on Greenup Avenue and, within minutes, a forklift operator was unloading 18,527 pounds of food, water and hygiene items and placing the 400 boxes of food, 400 boxes of hygiene items and 80 boxes of vitamin water in long rows in the parking lot behind the business.

Shortly after 9 a.m., volunteers for River Cities Harvest began distributing the food and boxes of toiletries to local nonprofit agencies in a well-oiled operation coordinated by Jim Fout, who has been with River Cities Harvest since its creation in 1991.

The Community Kitchen, the Boyd County Food Pantry, operated by Cannonsburg Trinity United Methodist Church, Helping Hands of Greenup County, the Salvation Army and the school resource centers in Ashland and Boyd County each received 50 boxes of food and 50 boxes hygiene items plus some vitamin water. Safe Harbor and Shelter of Hope each received 20 boxes of food and 20 boxes of hygiene products.

Naomi Judd is responsible for bringing the Feed the Children truck to Ashland. The truck has been making annual trips to the city for more than 10 years.

Vickie Caniff, director of the Boyd County Youth Services, said the food and hygiene items could not come at a better time. The annual Readifest for the Boyd County School District will be July 28 at Boyd County High School and the food along with the soap, deodorant, shampoo and hair care products will be distributed at that time.

“The toilet paper, shampoo and household cleaners are really great, because you can’t get these with food stamps,” said Cyndy Downing, director of the Hillcrest-Bruce United Methodist Ministries.

“We will break these boxes down into specific things like shampoo and soap and distribute them as needed,” said Toni Nattier, physical needs coordinator for the Hillcrest-Bruce mission. “Some of these things may last for a year.”

The food boxes — each weighing about 25 pounds — contained 12 cans of vegetables, beans, fruit and soup, peanut butter, pasta and cereal or oatmeal.

The hygiene boxes — each weighing about 12 pounds — included paper towels, napkins, toilet paper, soap, deodorant, shampoo, household cleaners and hair care products.

By 1 p.m. Thursday, all the boxes had been distributed to local agencies that help the needy. Residents of the Ashland Group Home assisted with the loading and unloading of the boxes,.

Helen Fout, Jim’s wife, checked the names of the participating agencies as they each picked up their boxes.

“Everything seems to be going pretty smoothly,” Fout said as he watched the boxes and food and hygiene items disappear from the parking lot. “We pretty much have this down pat by now. We know what works.”

JOHN CANNON can be reached at or (606) 326-2649.

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