Volunteers from all walks deliver for Empty Pantry Fund
By J.J. Kindred | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
With 71 routes, 1,400 baskets and 700 boxes of toys, deliveries were made as part of the annual Empty Pantry Fund Sunday, providing food and toys for needy families in Blount County and giving them smiles for the holidays.
Created more than 50 years ago by The Daily Times and the Maryville/Alcoa Jaycees, organizers of the Empty Pantry Fund considered this year’s event a success.
Lon Fox, president of the Empty Pantry Fund, said Sunday he has been very pleased with the turnout of volunteers, who fought inclement weather throughout the day to make the deliveries.
“It went great,” he said. “We had weather issues all day, but the volunteers came out in droves. But we still had some to do as of (Sunday) evening. There were some people that were not home.
We’re thankful for all the volunteers, everybody came out and pitched in.
“This year we delivered empty pantry toys and baskets a week early, and normally they would be delivered next Sunday,” Fox said. “We still have to raise money. We’ve had volunteers from all scopes, including the church, fire department, service organizations, and we’ve had individuals that have read stories in the paper and were moved, and decided they were going to come on board. We’ve had first-year people and people that have delivered for more than 50 years.”
Organizers said those who called in for a basket and/or toys and were not able to receive theirs Sunday can come to the National Guard Armory from 10 a.m. until noon today.
“Once you do it, you realize how important it is to get the baskets and toys to those families,” said Fox’s wife, Sally, who coordinates packing and distribution for the Empty Pantry Fund.