The LaFayette Area Empty Stocking Fund gave out 550 Christmas food bags to about 1,600 Walker County individuals in need in 2020.

The LaFayette Area Empty Stocking Fund is part of the United Way of Greater Chattanooga and accepts donations from companies, churches and individuals to give out food at Christmastime.

This organization has been helping families enjoy a holiday meal since 1974.

Board Member Rachel Oesch Willeford says that exceptions were made this year because of the pandemic.

“Normally an application is required before anyone can receive a food bag but this year the Empty Stocking Fund allowed individual to fill out applications on site and get food donations the same day,” Willeford said.

The bag distribution is the culmination of months of work behind the scenes from securing the funds, getting the food, and organizing volunteers.

“Various community organizations have made this a vital part of the LaFayette /Walker County community,” said Julie Carter with the LaFayette Area Empty Stocking Fund. “It is heartwarming to see so many volunteers from various segments of our community for this important service.”

Food bags included a chicken, a bag of apples, beans, corn, flour oil, cake mix and frosting, gelatin, mac and cheese, chicken noodle soup, corn meal mix, oatmeal, rice, and rolls.

For more information about the LaFayette Area Empty Stocking Fund, contact Rachel Oesch Willeford at 706-200-8099 or

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