By Debra Davis
Farmers are great neighbors. Just ask thousands of Walker County residents who recently received a helping hand from members of their county Farmers Federation.
“When we learned there were people in our county who were hungry, our board took action without hesitation,” said Walker County Farmers Federation President Dorman Grace.
The Federation purchased $5,000 of food at reduced prices from Son’s Supermarket in Jasper, with help from local owners Jimmy and Todd Lee.
The Walker Area Community Foundation (WACF) helped connect the Federation to the Salvation Army and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church pantry for ongoing food distributions.
“We’re farmers, it’s in our nature to help people,” said Grace, who, with wife Susan and sons Cade and Jud, operate Grace Farms near Jasper. “This is something we feel strongly about. When people in our county are hurting, the Farmers Federation is here to help. When our members pay their dues, it’s important for them to know we are helping people in our county — our friends and neighbors.”
WACF President Paul W. Kennedy described the Federation’s contribution as an investment in the local community.
“Bless you,” Kennedy told Grace and other Federation members. “Bags of protein and shelf-stable goods were distributed by St. Mary’s to locations around Walker County last week with the help of volunteers, churches and agencies. Thanks to this investment, the St. Mary’s food pantry offered fresh produce purchased through Son’s Grocery for its regular food distribution for the first time in a long time.”
St. Mary’s also worked with the Salvation Army and volunteers who are delivering groceries to nearly 300 seniors who are self-isolating or have transportation challenges, Kennedy said. The funds will help both agencies continue to offer much-needed food into the future, he added.
The Federation is humbled by the appreciation from Kennedy and other groups, Grace said. He added he believes difficult times often bring out the best in people.
“I hope this donation encourages others to be a blessing to those who are in need,” Grace said.