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Some western Ky. food pantries adversely affected by tornadoes

Courtesy of Paducah Cooperative Ministry

Some western Kentucky food pantries were adversely affected by last week’s tornadoes, and those that weren’t are working to assist storm survivors in nearby communities.

The Purchase Area Development District warehouse for Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland that distributed food to various food pantries in the surrounding counties was destroyed during the storm along with many other homes and buildings.

Jamie Sizemore, chief executive with Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, said the organization secured a temporary warehouse this week at 911 Joe Clifton Drive in Paducah. The warehouse can be reached at 225-409-0233, though Sizemore noted it is not meant to directly serve the general public.

The Paducah Cooperative Ministry (PCM) in McCracken County is one of many regional food pantries that received food from the Mayfield warehouse prior to its destruction. An administrative assistant with the organization said there is enough food remaining to continue running its three food programs thanks to community donations and existing supplies.

Feeding America has also expanded its outreach in Bowling Green, another city that saw significant damage during the storm. This entails packing 3,400 food bags – each including 19 pantry-sized, non-perishable food items – and serving 1,050 households in the Bowling Green area.

Tammie Andrzejczuk, administrative assistant with the Aaron McNeil House in Christian County, said day-to-day operations have not been affected by the storm and the organization was still able to host its monthly commodity distribution Saturday morning.

“We’re also communicating with the surrounding cities within Christian County out of Hopkinsville, like Pembroke, Crofton, Herdon, just to check and see if there’s any need, working with Feeding America on getting some kind of disaster boxes to the families,” Andrzejczuk said.

The Aaron McNeil House received a call Wednesday morning from Tyson Foods seeking to donate approximately 80,000 lbs. of protein to food banks in western Kentucky, Andrzejczuk added. This is part of a larger effort by the company to support families affected by the storm in Kentucky, Tennessee and other states, with a particular focus on Mayfield.

A case worker with Need Line in Calloway County said the organization is currently most concerned with feeding storm survivors in Mayfield.

Dustin Wilcox is a television production student at Murray State University. He graduated from Hopkinsville High School in 2019.
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