Officers Jeff Helvey and David Riley were on hand to take the EM-Packs for the Leitchfield Police Department.Courtesy Photo

Officers Jeff Helvey and David Riley were on hand to take the EM-Packs for the Leitchfield Police Department.

Courtesy Photo

The Grayson County Alliance (GCA) recently started a new program that puts EM-Packs (emergency meal packages) in the hands of local Emergency Services.

According to GCA Director Debbie Childress, 22 percent of families in Grayson County are living below the poverty level and struggling to provide adequate food for all of the members of the household.

Chilldress said that the GCA Food Pantry has been assisting families in need since the year 2000 with USDA Commodities, donated, and purchased food.

"The idea came for a discussion with GCA staff about how we could reach more families in need," said Childress. "It was a natural fit to partner with the emergency services providers because they meet so many individuals in crisis."

By providing the EM-Packs, GCA hopes to give the emergency service providers items to help with families' immediate food needs and to provide them with information to connect with GCA for additional services.

"Help assembling the packs came from Rotary Club of Grayson County, whose members regularly volunteer and support GCA," said Childress.

According to Childress, the EM-Packs contain four to six food items that do not need to be refrigerated or cooked.

Rotary President elect Kaytlin VanMeter said, "We want to get involved in our community. Helping sort and assemble the EM-Packs is just one way our club can connect with our community and make things better."

"We know emergency service providers often encounter people that are hungry and don't know where to go," she said. "With these EM-Packs they can help the immediate need and direct them to GCA for additional support."

"So far Community Action, Clarkson Police, Grayson County Sheriff's Office, and Leitchfield Police Department have received 15 of the EM-Packs and will receive more as needed," Childress said. "We are proud to partner with each of these agencies. These EM-Packs are meant to help reduce the stress that comes with being hungry and demonstrate that our community cares about its friends and neighbors in need."

According to Childress, the Grayson County Alliance will continue to seek partnerships like these to help grow a healthier community.

She said, "As the EM-Packs program grows GCA will need volunteers to assemble bags and funds to purchase the basic items used."

If you would like to learn more about this program or other services provided by GCA, contact their office at (270) 259-4000 or email