A small food bank is helping to bridge the hunger gap for families in the small community of Batson. Organized and replenished by Saul and Kasi Wilkerson, and their five children, the food bank is set up at the Batson carwash on SH 105.
“With the way times are these days, and knowing there are families out there struggling to put food on the table, we wanted to do something to help. My husband and I decided that the free little pantry box would not only help families in need but would also be a continuous teachable moment for our five children,” said Kasi Wilkerson. “Through this project they are learning about neighbors helping neighbors, showing compassion for others and also about finances.”
The Wilkerson children are encouraged to set aside some of their allowance, which they then use to purchase non-perishable items for the pantry. Kasi’s father, Jimmy Harwell, helped by building the pantry box.
“So far the results have been overwhelmingly good. We check it every day. We want anyone who is in need to take whatever food items they can eat and use,” Wilkerson said.
As she cannot monitor the box personally around-the-clock, Wilkerson relies on the honor system.
“We don’t want people who abuse it to ruin it for everyone,” she said.
When the food bank project started, Wilkerson expected to see supplies diminish each day, but what she hadn’t counted on were the unexpected food donations from other people in the community.
“People have been dropping things in the box. They are dropping things in daily. It’s overwhelming. People seem to be taking what they need and replacing it with other things,” she said.