A parking lot tucked away in the Highlands area of Louisville was filled with helping hands and grateful hearts on September 21.
Louisville Water Service Board members were just some of the volunteers busy packing boxes with fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains for Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM).
Every third Thursday of the month, KRM provides boxes of food for families in need courtesy of Dare to Care.
Louisville Water Metering Specialist Nate Frederick led the charge to get the Service Board involved in the event. It was at We Day Kentucky’s Walk of Compassion in the spring, where Frederick and other Service Board members learned about KRM’s mission.
“Louisville is a big, compassionate city, especially when it comes to refugees and immigrants. I just felt the need to help,” Frederick said.
A couple of emails later, the Service Board signed up to take a tour of KRM and volunteer.
“The food pantry was one of the biggest needs for a group of people,” Frederick said.
KRM Volunteer and Co-sponsorship Specialist Kristina Lynch says they rely on the community to help serve more than 200 families on each food packing day.
“We could not do it without the support of volunteers. We have 35 to 40 drivers that come every month and deliver boxes. We have volunteers that come and load boxes. We need volunteers on all aspects,” she said.
Additional volunteers pack boxes with the surplus food to provide them to walk-up clients.
“I think it’s awesome to see everyone out here from all different genres, all different backgrounds, all different races, everyone’s helping,” Frederick shared. “It’s a big family feel. That’s Louisville. That’s Louisville, Kentucky.”
It might surprise you to know Louisville tops the list when it comes to the number of refugees in our community.
Lynch says, “Louisville is the second largest city for Cuban arrivals right behind Miami. Kentucky is the fourth largest state for refugee arrivals and Louisville is the fifth largest city for refugee arrivals.”
All the more reason for Louisville to strive to reclaim its title for being a “compassionate city.”
If you’d like to support Kentucky Refugee Ministries, there are several ways to get involved.