Zachary community can't wait for new food pantry to open

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POSTED: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 5:34pm

"It's been a lifesaver, a godsend," says Wesley Barkley

Wesley Barkley hasn't been able to work since he hurt his back more than a year and half ago. The injury left him unable to walk, pay his bills and always looking for where his next meal would come from.

"I've never been able to ask for help or want it. I always wanted to help, but I guess it's my time for a little bit of help," says Barkley

But with the help of the fifteen volunteers at the Zachary Community Food Pantry he doesn't have to worry about whether or not he'll be able to eat. Volunteers like Reginald Dykes.

"These people are in need and without this, without these groceries, some of them are going to go hungry," says Dykes.

With small aisles and peeling floors Mayor David Amrhein decided the facility needed a makeover. So, with the help of more than a quarter of a million dollars in state and city money, he broke ground on the new pantry Thursday.

The new pantry is expected to open up right around Christmas and the more than 250 families that need this facility to feed themselves, the opening can't come quickly enough.

"There are so many people that wonder where their next meal is coming from. How you're going to provide for your kids," says Barkley.

Now, fewer people in Zachary are going to have that concern, but until it opens Barkley is doing everything he can to make sure nobody he knows has to go hungry.

"Even with the little I have I'll try and sit there and try and make sure the elderly people that are around me have a warm meal," states Barkley.

And he hopes everyone else will follow not only his lead but that of the volunteers at the pantry who every month deliver to his home the food he needs but just can't get to because of his injury.

"If you take the $1.50 for the bag of chips, buy a can of food, some spaghetti, some beans and donate and give back it goes so far," says Barkley.

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