KINGSPORT — An Allandale emergency food pantry that serves all comers, regardless of their income or home address, is hosting a Putt-Putt fundraiser Saturday that organizers “Hope Helps” keep the groceries flowing out to those in need.
Hope Helps, which is a part of the Hawkins County-based Hope Community Church, operates its food pantry in the old WinnDixie shopping center off University Boulevard behind the Allandale Walgreens.
The food pantry is open Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also offers a limited amount of other items such as clothing and household goods.
Last month, Hope Helps served 199 families, or about 432 people, which director Connie Johnson said was a little slower than usual.
In a normal month, the organization serves 230-240 families. The record is 368 families in a month, which amounted to almost 900 people.
Last year, the group helped nearly 6,000 people and distributed 137,000 pounds of food.
Hope Helps is a little different than most food pantries in that it doesn’t prepackage the grocery boxes.
Instead, the organization gives recipients a list of the items available and asks them to pick what they’d like to have. Johnson said the goal is to avoid waste by not giving people food they won’t eat.
Hope Helps also receives meat donations from Walmart and Aldi on the day before expiration, which are immediately placed in the freezer to be distributed.
The fundraiser is scheduled for Saturday from 2-4 p.m. at the Putt-Putt, 346 W. Stone Drive.
During that time, anyone can play 36 holes for $4, and all proceeds will benefit Hope Helps.
There will also be a live band, food, and a silent auction featuring contributed prizes including Dollywood and Ripley’s Aquarium tickets; a $200 tattoo gift certificate; two photo sessions, each of which are worth more than $200; a tent; bow and bow case; jewelry; name brand purses; and much more.
The silent auction ends at 3:30.
The full list of auction items is on the Hope Helps Facebook page and website.
“Nobody who works here gets paid,” Johnson said. “We’re all volunteers, so 100 percent of what we raise comes right back into this ministry. It goes right back into getting the food items we need, paying the electric bill, those type items.
“We don’t care where you’re from. We don’t go by your income. If God sends you through our doors, we’re going to help you.”