In 2001, Anthony and Linda Lowery established God's Outreach Madison County Food Bank in Richmond, Kentucky. Hunger is a word Anthony and Linda knew well as they were growing up, so they know firsthand how poverty hurts families and children. When they had the opportunity to establish a food bank, they knew they had to pursue it. They wanted their lives to be used to help people.
God's Outreach was founded in the year 2000. The Food Bank was Linda's vision since she was a child, but in 2000 it became Anthony's vision, too. They began the food bank over 20 years ago by storing food for those in need in a closet in their home. They wanted to make Richmond a better place to live by providing food, love, and compassion for those in need. Needless to say, the ministry grew. When they finally realized they wanted to dedicate their lives to serving people in need, they moved to a corner office on Geri Lane. They eventually ended up renting the entire office space where they were able to help 150-200 people every month.
Today they are in their own debt free facility on East Main Street in Richmond. With God's help, God's Outreach has become the largest independent food bank in Kentucky and helps thousands of people every year. Their vision is that no one in Madison County goes to bed hungry due to lack of food.
In 2008, Anthony was made aware of a little girl, who had passed out from hunger on a Monday morning at school. Immediately, as a child who had frequently experienced food insecurity, he knew God's Outreach had to address this sad problem. This was the birth of the Backpack Program to help fight childhood hunger in Madison County. The Backpack Program is designed so that teachers can identify kids in need and easily add them to our weekend food program. There is no waiting list for a child. On Fridays, the teachers discretely have easy to fix, non-perishable food placed into their backpacks, so they will have food to sustain them over the weekend. Currently, God's Outreach gives out thousands of backpacks of food each month.
Anthony and Linda's vision does not stop at the border of Madison County. They began reaching out into Estill County in 2018. God's Outreach has a mobile food unit that goes to Estill County every Thursday and Friday. 800 families receive supplemental food and 800 backpacks of weekend food are given out to students in Estill Counties schools each month.
Anthony and Linda's vision is ever expanding. In the future, they hope to reach into more counties to help more of our neighbors in need through our mobile food pantry program.