MURRAY — Saturday’s second packing session of 2019 for Murray’s Kids Care for Hunger will be difficult for the agency’s leadership. 

It will mark the first time members and community volunteers have faced the task of packing meals for those less fortunate without someone who brought much intensity to the cause. Ricky Lamkin was Kids Care for Hunger’s vice chairman when he died early last month. 

He was 67.

“So we need to do this for his memory and the many contacts he made. He went beyond the description of a vice chair,” said Kids Care for Hunger founder Loretta Jobs. “He did so much for us. In one weekend, he once delivered meals to at least 87 churches, and he loved doing it. 

“We won’t be able to replace him.”

In addition, Jobs recalled how Lamkin helped guide the agency through one of its toughest times. Several years ago, Lamkin, who also practiced law in Murray for many years, discovered that the name originally chosen — Kids Against Hunger — violated legal conditions, meaning a new name had to be found. 

“He helped us tremendously during that time,” Jobs said. “I remember that I came up with the name we have now and told him about it. I asked him, ‘Would that be OK?’ He said, ‘Yes.’”

Lamkin was also known for carrying buckets of bubble gum to these sessions, which he would distribute to children who had come to the sessions – either to help with packing the meals or who had accompanied their parents or loved ones. The kids would also engage in other activities, such as reading books or designing coloring books until the adults were finished with their duties. 

“I remember for our last packing (in August), I bought one of those buckets and took it to (the packing). I had no idea that it would be the last one (for Lamkin),” Jobs said. 

Kids Care for Hunger packing sessions are hosted at Stahler’s Farm on KY 121 South, about three miles from Murray. Volunteers undertake several roles in preparing the meals, including the use of scoops to fill the bags with the food, sealing the bags, then actually placing the bags in large cardboard boxes for shipping. 

Sessions are divided into two shifts, with the first shift starting at 9 a.m. and the second shift starting at 11 a.m. Shifts last two hours, or until all materials have been used. 

“For this one, we’re going to be finishing off our macaroni-and-cheese meals and we’re also going to be starting our apples-and-cinnamon oatmeal (that was approved by the board in September, just weeks before Lamkin’s death.

“In that last one, we ended up packing 25,056 meals and had 107 volunteers. We only had 19 volunteers for the second shift, though, so we’re hoping we can get some more for the second shift this time.”

Anyone wishing to participate can inform Jobs of their intentions before Saturday by phoning 270-293-3626 or just come to the session Saturday without prior notice. 

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