ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Carter County leaders held a public meeting Monday morning to address the issue of food insecurity that’s occurring within the county.

One solution discussed was to receive extra funding from the state. Carter County has applied through the state of Tennessee to receive a Community Development Block Grant.

Officials plan to use the grant money to provide improved equipment and more resources to local food pantries that need it. Ken Rae, the Director of Economic and Community Development for Carter County, said many people are struggling to get the food that they need.

“We’re seeing a mix of people; a lot of them are in the elderly category. We also have working families in need of food,” Rae said. “We are seeing a lot of people that have psychical limitations that ultimately limit their ability and their income.”

Local food pantries such as the food distribution center at Phillippi Baptist Church said they will use the money to create extra space to work and prepare boxes.

“We have an outreach building over here we use sometimes, but right now, it’s packed full with those things, so I’m having to make the boxes here,” said Sonja Price, director of the food distribution center. “If we can get that insulated and fixed up to where it’s a little more workable, then we don’t have to tire the church.”

Carter County is hoping to find out if the state will give them the grant funding they need by March 1.