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Food pantry to host fundraising event

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HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. - A newly opened food pantry needs help to feed the community. Hawkins County's Hope Helps has bare shelves only five days after filling them. They recently gave food to 337 people in need.

"People have to decide if they're going to eat or if they're going to brush their teeth," Director Connie Johnson said. "Are they going to feed their family or are they going to do laundry with soap, things we don't think about."

Hope Helps is planning a fundraising event for July 15 in their parking lot. They're hoping to raise the more than $1,500 it takes to just run a bare bones operation.

They are looking for vendors to set up at the event. Venders will give a donation and keep their sales. Baked goods and a band will also be at next Saturday's event.

The pantry just opened on January 31, but they have been seeing a lot of growth. Johnson said about 20 to 30 more people come needing food each month. She expects to feed about 500 people each month by the end of this year.

"This is what God calls us to do." Johnson said. "We are to help our community. We are to show our love. We are to help folks who need help. We're not to judge. We're to love. And that's why we're here."

The upcoming fundraiser is just one of many planned. Hope Helps is planning similar events on the second Saturday of each month until it gets cold again this winter.

Hope Helps also provides clothing, household items, furniture, medical equipment and counseling services. They're located at 4540 W. Stone Dr., Kingsport, TN 37660.

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