Replenishment underway for food pantries hit hard by flooding demand

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/GOD’S PANTRY FOOD BANK) – People are still recovering from the devastating floodwaters that crippled communities in Eastern Kentucky.

For many getting back on their feet will take time, and for God’s Pantry Food Bank that includes many partner pantries and meal programs.

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According to the God’s Pantry Food Bank, these pantries are oftentimes the first place communities turn to for food, especially in a natural disaster.

This is where God’s Pantry Food Bank can take a vital role in working with our community partners to access water and food and get it into communities as soon as possible.

When the historic flooding took place the Food Bank knew recovery wouldn’t be instant, and that this was added to an already higher need due to the pandemic.

A few community partners stepped up to help with the relief efforts, our partners at Kroger donated 3 semi-trucks full of water for immediate distribution, according to God’s Pantry Food Bank.

JM Smucker quickly had peanut butter available for the Food Bank to pick up. Feeding America routed more water to the area.

App Harvest donated fresh tomatoes.

As clean up and replenishment began Meijer helped provide many foods to help restock pantries in the area, including rice, pancake mix, cereal, pasta sauce, soup, instant noodles, and more.

In Breathitt County some residents lost their entire homes and finding places to stay has been hard.

Patsy Clair with Breathitt County Hunger Alliance said, “The water has been a blessing because some people are still living in tents. We received cereal and pasta sauce, people were so happy because they had choices.”

The recovery from the flooding will be a long-term process but having food available takes one worry away.

“Nourishing communities is not something the Food Bank can do alone. It is the work of many including donors, community partners, and the agencies within the community,” explains Michael Halligan, CEO of God’s Pantry Food Bank. “During a time of need seeing so many hands come together to build communities back up is heartwarming.”

In total since March 1 more than 400,000 pounds of food and water has been distributed in Breathitt, Clay, Estill, Lee, Powell, and Woodford Counties.

The efforts will continue as long as there are needs within the community and the Food Bank will continue to work with the local pantry leads to identify needs as they change.

Living out the mission of reducing hunger by working together to feed Kentucky communities.