ASHLAND, Va. -- It’s a recurring issue at Ashland Christian Emergency Services (ACES) the cupboards are bare at the very place that is a safety net for the hungry in central Hanover.
“What we give barely lasts a week,” says Bonnie Hoskin. “We’re kind of depleted of our food right now. We’ve evidently had a lot of clients come in.”
“We have pasta, but we don’t have a lot of canned meats,” she lamented.
The need is great at the small food pantry which helped nearly 4000 people last year alone. But Bonnie knows she can count on one person to fill the void.
“It has been a real blessing to have Katie on our side,” Bonnie said.
Katie Goodman is the CEO of Help the Hungry.
“I was pretty sad that the food pantry was actually empty,” Katie said.
The humble 15-year-old hatched her 4-H project nearly five years ago and hasn’t looked back since. She takes hunger in her own community seriously.
“I filled 590 pounds on my first “Fill the Truck,” she said.
The Patrick Henry sophomore moves like a locomotive across Hanover. Katie organizes can drives, raises money and collects veggies from area farmers.
"Just knowing that there are people that I go to school with that can’t get what they need or are going hungry makes me really sad,” Katie said.
She happily distributes her bounty to area non-profits throughout the year.
“I think if everyone does a little bit we could solve a lot of problems in this world," she said. "I feel like we could change it."
The honor roll student is also a member of the ROTC, performs ballet and is captain of her school’s JV sideline cheerleading.
Katie’s accomplishments make for one proud mom.
“She has a huge heart and cares about everybody,” says Betty Kay Goodman. “That means the most that she is helping here at home.”
In five years, its estimated Katie has helped 26,000 people.
“She accepts everyone and looks to make their lives better,” says Rita Schalk with 4-H. “She wouldn’t say it, but she impacts a lot of other youth who sees what she can accomplish.”
Katie emphasizes she isn’t taking a bite out of hunger for recognition, but rather one simple reason.
“The satisfaction that I am making a difference and I am helping people,” she said.
She's a young woman dedicated to her cause; filling empty shelves, and in turn empty stomachs.
Bonnie Hoskin at ACES food pantry says, “I think she is making an impact on not only ACES, but her community. Hanover County.”
Katie Goodman’s efforts to help the hungry are not going unnoticed. Katie was honored with the Opportunity Hall of Fame Award in 2012 which included a $2,000 grant. Katie’s long term goal after college includes becoming a therapist who works with children and of course, organize more food drives.
If you know of someone you would like to see featured in my “Heroes Among Us” segment e-mail me at Heroes@WTVR.com