Elmore County Food Pantry volunteers were up and out the door well before dawn Saturday to set up and host a fundraising event featuring a car and motorcycle show, silent auction and yard sale.
The event was open for approximately two hours and attendance was light. Director Kathy Moseley asked volunteers at the event to call two people and encourage them to attend. Each of those people contacted by phone were asked to call two more people.
When the last dollar was counted, Moseley indicated the event brought in nearly $2,600.
“The volunteers were absolutely awesome,” Moseley said. “We had a few things going on around us. There’s some football games going on. I think around lunch time we will see it pick up.”
All the items — food, yard sale items, silent auction items — were all donated by the community and volunteers.
“The volunteers are absolutely amazing,” Moseley said. “Without them there is no way we could do something like this.”
That $2,600 has the potential to purchase more than 280,000 pounds of food which will be used to stock the pantry’s shelves for Elmore County residents in need of a nutritious meal.
“Any donation that comes in is tax deductible,” Moseley said. “If I took $20 to the store, I’m not coming out there with much. Donating $20 to us we can purchase 111 pounds of food. That makes a big difference.”
The organization serves more than 600 families in Elmore County and has distributed more than 1.3 million pounds of food since 2010.
The picture painted by U.S. Census Bureau statistics indicate services provided by the organization are needed.
Elmore County is one of the most populated River Region counties and it is the only county in the area showing significant growth in population since the 2010 census.
Since then it has increased to 81,799 from 79,939 beating out Montgomery, Coosa, Tallapoosa and Macon counties — all of which saw a decline in population over that time.
Only Chilton and Autauga counties showed any growth, according to the Census numbers.
Poverty threshold estimates of those counties in respect to their population show while Elmore County is at 13.5% of the population in poverty, its size means that number is greater than a county with the same percentage and a smaller population.
For example the census states Autauga County also estimates a 13.5 percentage in poverty.
However at a population estimated nearly half of Elmore County that translates into roughly 8,908 persons living in poverty, compared to Elmore County’s 11,283 residents living in poverty.
A snapshot of the pantry’s clientele according to Moseley is made up largely of children and elderly, single parents, the disabled and those signed up with social security benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.