"Hook 'em for the Hungry" program helps 1,000 families
MARSHAL COUNTY, Ky. — It's the ninth year St. Matthew's by the Lake Church has hosted a "Hook 'Em for the Hungry" drive and this year they've already collected close to 1,000 pounds of fish.
"I was trying to find a way to help people understand they can use what they love to do in order to help their neighbor," explained Pastor Paul Meier.
As an avid angler, he looked to the lakes for inspiration. The idea is pretty simple. Any extra or unwanted fish get dumped into a cooler that's filled with ice outside the church. Volunteers do the rest.
"We clean them, freeze them and then donate them to the Marshall County Caring Needline," said Meier.
Becky Cornwell is an administrator at Needline and sees first hand how much the fish help local families.
"A lot of individuals are really enjoying this program and really look forward to it every year, and ask if it's about time for the fish to start," she said.
She added that the weeklong drive, ending on Memorial Day, comes at a critical time for families struggling to fill their pantries.
"Kids are home from school right now and there are extra mouths to feed," she said. "They've lost two meals a day the school was feeding these children."
In addition to the fish donations, St. Matthew Church has teamed up with another organization which matches the fish with chicken donations.
Donations are being collected at St. Matthew by the Lake Church, 3966 US Highway 641 North in Benton, Kentucky.