LEXINGTON — The double wide line of cars on Taft St. reached from St. Ann’s Parish Center all the way back to Highway 30. The drivers were there to pick up free meals and food as part of an emergency relief effort.

The effort was made possible through a community partnership involving the Lexington Community Foundation, Orthman Manufacturing, Cash-Wa and No More Empty Pots, as well as a group of volunteers who distributed the food.

Cars had begun to line up at 8:30 a.m. the morning of Thursday, July 23 for a drive-thru distribution which was slated to start at 11:30 a.m., said LCF Executive Director Jackie Berke.

Chief Tracy Wolf with the Lexington Police Department said the goal with the double wide arrangement was to keep vehicles off Highway 30, multiple officers were on scene to help direct the traffic Thursday morning.

Food was offloaded from Cash-Wa trucks via forklift and set up into four sets of distribution areas.

Each vehicle would get preprepared meals, a box of produce, dairy products, meat and milk. Volunteers braved the heat and the COVID-19 virus, nearly all wearing masks, and helped load up each vehicle as they pulled around.

Handout started early around 11 a.m. to keep the vehicles off the highway, cars were waved through to different distribution points, where they were loaded up and sent on their way. The process went smoothly with little traffic jams.

By 12 p.m. the two lines had all been waived through, with a few cars pulling in later for their turn.

Volunteers numbered over 30 and were of all age groups.

Distributions will be ongoing into August and September, occurring on Aug. 6, Aug. 20, Sept. 3 and Sept. 17.

Emergency food relief available to Lexington residents

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity in the Lexington area and to remedy this, the Lexington Community Foundation has partnered with No More Empty Pots to provide food support.

Feeding Our Neighbors provides bi-weekly pickup of plant based, nutritional meals for whole households. Meals are ready-to-eat in microwavable or oven trays.

Meals can be picked up from St. Ann’s Parish Center, 1003 Taft St on Thursdays including Aug. 6, Aug. 20, Sept. 3 and Sept. 17. Drive-thru times are 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Questions can be directed to the Lexington Community Foundation, 308-324-6701 or No More Empty Pots at 402-690-0888.

According to their website, “No More Empty Pots (NMEP) is a grassroots non-profit organization connecting individuals and groups to improve self-sufficiency, regional food security, and economic resilience of urban and rural communities through advocacy and action.” NMEP is based out of Omaha.

Additional information can be found at nmepomaha.org, or email Emily at communityharvest@nmepomaha.org.

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