Paying a fine is usually considered a bad thing, but the Whitley County Library staff found a way to turn it into a good thing by allowing customers with overdue books to pay their fines by donating food to the “Yes, We Can Feed Kentucky” food drive sponsored by the Whitley Area Retired Teachers Association (WARTA). During the first three weeks of December, approximately 480 cans/boxes of food were dropped off at the Library! For their part, retired teachers donated both food and funds, a portion of which was provided through a match grant from AARP and KRTA. The additional food purchased with these funds brought the total amount to over 875 cans/boxes.
“This is almost double what we collected last year,” said Ronnie Partin, WARTA President. “We certainly appreciate the help from the library staff and their customers as well as the retired teachers in our association. We have seen an increase every year since the program was initiated four years ago, especially this year, and we appreciate the generosity of everyone to help feed the hungry in our area.”
The food collected during the “Yes, We Can Feed Kentucky” food drive has been divided equally between the Emergency Christian Ministries in Williamsburg and the Everlasting Arms, Inc. in Corbin, both of which serve a great need in our communities.
It is estimated that more than 13% of Kentucky citizens experience chronic hunger with almost 5.5% of those being seniors. Overall, the state ranks 20th nationally for at risk seniors. Across the state retired teachers have been involved in similar activities to help feed the hungry. “We realize this is a small contribution to help solve a very big problem, but the more people who get involved the closer we come to eliminating hunger,” stated Partin. “Retired teachers want to be involved and give back to their communities.”
The Whitley Area Retired Teachers Association is comprised of retired teachers from Corbin, Whitley County, and Williamsburg school districts.