A partnership that was formed more than 15 years ago continues to serve the needs of area citizens. Each December the Whitley County Public Library allows customers with overdue book fines to settle those fines by donating non-perishable food items. Also, each December the Whitley Area Retired Teachers Association (WARTA) conducts their annual “Feed KY Food Drive” in which they collect/purchase with monetary contributions, food that they donate to area homeless shelters. By combining forces, both groups are able to make a greater impact than if they worked alone. WARTA president Ronnie Partin praised both the library staff and retired teachers for their efforts. “We certainly appreciate the help from the library staff and their customers in this effort. Because of their help we have been able to serve many more people. Retired teachers have spent most of their lives contributing to their communities through educating the children who are the leaders and workers of the future. This is a small way in which they can continue that tradition of serving others.”
It is estimated that more than thirteen percent of Kentucky citizens experience chronic hunger with almost half that being seniors. Overall, the state ranks 20th nationally for at-risk seniors. Across the state retired teachers have been involved in similar activities to help feed the hungry.
More than 500 retired teachers live in Whitley County. The Whitley Area Retired Teachers Association is comprised of retired teachers from Corbin, Williamsburg, and Whitley County school districts. All retired teachers are invited to become a part of this very worthy organization.