ANNVILLE, Ky (WYMT) - The latest unemployment numbers show that overall Kentuckians are slowly getting back to work. But that is not the case in Jackson County, which boasts the state's highest jobless rate at 16.5 percent.
That was evident on Friday in Annville where folks lined the street outside a small church just to pick up the basic necessities.
Residents who attended the two-day giveaway event describe the hardships facing eastern Kentuckians as getting worse and worse. Another person tells WYMT it is hard knowing she lives in one of the poorest counties in the country.
At Friday's event, coordinator Debbie Turner said they try to meet the needs of all those in attendance. That includes everything from clothes to detergent to shoes.
But Turner said there is an even greater need resting just under the surface.
"It is not that they are bad people or people that do not work. It is just that there are no jobs here for them and they should not have to suffer because of the county they live in," said Turner.
So for two days, volunteers from churches near and far gather at Bond Baptist Church in Annville and give residents like Connie Mays a fresh start.
"I have had a kidney transplant and I was in need of a mattress," said Mays.
Organizers tell WYMT this year's event is already about three times busier than last year. They had folks lining up in their cars around 4:30 a.m.
"When I see these people come through the line, I think of what my mother said to me. It may be old to you but it could be new to someone else," said Turner.
Gerald Humphrey, who traveled from Oakland Baptist Church just outside of Bowling Green, said he is happy to give back to those who have so little.
"God has blessed me and my family and I just want to share some of that wealth," said Humphrey.
Oakland Baptist Church brings a tractor trailer full of goods each year.
The church in Annville will be open at 8:00 a.m. and will give out items until around 3:00 p.m.