They are called “Pallets of Hope” for good reason because that is exactly what they are for worried and hungry families in the most distressed regions of Appalachia.

This month, we plan to ship boxes containing five pounds each of frozen chicken and sausage, all-beef hot dogs, vegetables, and desserts, enough to feed a family of four two meals a day for two weeks to our partners.

For these desperate families already struggling in “normal” times, these days, weeks, months of the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the country, are anything but.

Our goal is to be able to send 1,150 of these frozen food boxes to to our partners including LAMP Ministries and the Community Helping Hands Clinic (which will deliver the boxes to a local food bank and church for distribution to their clients and parishioners) in Georgia, Come-Unity Cooperative Care and the Lee County Family Resource Center in Kentucky, Appalachian Outreach in Tennessee, and Big Creek People in Action in West Virginia.

But we need your help.

By being able to purchase these food boxes in large quantities we are able to keep the cost low — $34 each — much less than it would cost a family to purchase all this food at a local grocery store, even if it was available with meat processing plants being shut down across the country.

Those who will be receiving the food boxes will not only be relieved of the stress of wondering how they would put food on the dinner table when so many bills are due, especially among those fathers and mothers who have lost their jobs, already low-wage to begin with, and now have no income now whatsoever.

In April, thanks to our supporters, we were able to ship five Pallets of Hope containing hygiene items including dental kits, diapers for growing families with infants and toddlers — and especially critical — potentially lifesaving bars of soap and hand sanitizer, with three more pallets slated to go out this month.

You have no doubt seen on the news the hundreds of cars lining up at food pantries across the country of people in need of supplemental food, but in these small, rural communities there is often no other place for these families to turn to but our partners.