The News Journal Jail gives away free Thanksgiving meals to inmate families – The News Journal

Having a father, mother, or other loved one in jail can be difficult for the rest of the family at the best of times, let alone the Christmas season.

Having the money to buy the traditional Christmas or even a nice meal for many of these families is likely to be especially difficult this season as the price of pretty much everything is due to inflation, supply chain issues, and various other issues related to the pandemic increases .

Thanks to numerous community groups and individuals, many of the families of those detained at the Whitley County Detention Center and some other less fortunate people in Whitley County become at least one good food on thanksgiving day.

“I can’t thank our community partners enough for making this possible. We have over 150 turkey and hams that we give away. In this box they have corn, green beans, filling, potatoes and a nice cake and then a turkey or ham. We’re just grateful that we can give back and do these things in our community, ”said Brian Lawson, Whitley County jailer.

“When you look at our country and the place where we are today, it is important that we come back to the kitchen table as a family, have some family time and begin to restore these core values ​​at the kitchen table. I hope the recipients take the opportunity and prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, sit down as a family and actually get back together and share some core values ​​and make a difference. “

Several inmates at the detention center volunteered to collect the food parcels and boxes that were given away on Saturday.

Organizers said even if the food wasn’t given away on Saturday, they would make sure it gets to families in need in time for Thanksgiving.

Project sponsors include Brian Lawson, his wife Ashley Lawson, District Judge Seth Reeves, District Judge Cathy Prewitt, Whitley County Superintendent John Siler, Remaxs Mike Campbell, United Health Care Community Plan, Whitley County Board of Education member Brenda Hill, Cindy Bowlin , Southern Health Partners, Kellwell Food, Dry County Clothing, Stephanie Kingsley, Angelica Weaver, massage therapist Linda Davis, and a donation to mark Luke Robiodux’s memory.

Ashley Lawson came up with the idea for the project.

“They all came together to make this possible,” remarked Ashley Lawson of the sponsors. “We just want to make sure people get a warm meal for Thanksgiving. I think the people who came are very grateful and so happy. That’s what Thanksgiving is about. “

She added that all inmates were allowed to contact their families on Friday evening to tell them about the giveaway.

“A lot of the people who came have someone in jail. One of the little girls who got through said, ‘My father is in jail and told us about it.’ It’s hard when you don’t have a dad at home to help you. Groceries are expensive and sometimes grocery brands aren’t enough, ”said Ashley Lawson.

United Health Care Community Plan, community outreach specialist Lisa Garrison, noted that United Health, which operates in 54 counties in eastern Kentucky, believes that incarcerated people deserve happiness and are healthy too.

“Their families, they fight when the person is imprisoned. We want to help families be happy and healthy. We wanted to support this project by buying ham and turkey. It was really exciting, ”added Garrison.

Reeves, who attended the raffle on Saturday, noted that this was an important concern for him and his family and that this is their second time supporting the project.

“This year we got together about a month ago and started planning,” Reeves said. “We exchanged ideas on how we could make it bigger and better, and then we decided we’d have it up here in the detention center and only have one kind of transit so we could support so many families in town in Whitley County as possible.”