Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland has provided $2.7 million in ongoing disaster relief

According to a release, 23 counties in the FAKH service area had sustained varying levels of...
According to a release, 23 counties in the FAKH service area had sustained varying levels of damage from the December tornadoes.(Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland)
Published: Jul. 7, 2022 at 3:39 PM CDT
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KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, a regional food bank serving 42 Kentucky counties, has now provided $2.7 million in resources toward recovery efforts to date.

FAKH Executive Director Jamie Sizemore, said the non-profit organization anticipates spending $4 million by the end of this year.

“Most of our service area is rural, with a large number of people already living at or below poverty level,” Sizemore said. “We also expect to serve a large number of people who have never asked for help before. And many of these tornado survivors don’t just need help with food, they need everything as they try to piece their lives back together.”

Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, a regional food bank serving 42 Kentucky counties, has...
Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland, a regional food bank serving 42 Kentucky counties, has now provided $2.7 million in resources toward recovery efforts to date.(Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland)

According to a release, 23 counties in the FAKH service area had sustained varying levels of damage from the December tornadoes.

Later, Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor and Warren counties were declared disaster areas by FEMA due to the significant loss of homes, businesses and lives.

Much of downtown Mayfield was destroyed, including PADD Food Bank, a Partner Distribution Organization of FAKH that serves western counties in Kentucky.

Jackie Herndon has served as the executive director of Mayfield-Graves County Needline and Food Pantry for 13 years.

Jackie Herndon has served as the executive director of Mayfield-Graves County Needline and Food...
Jackie Herndon has served as the executive director of Mayfield-Graves County Needline and Food Pantry for 13 years.(Feeding America, Kentucky's Heartland)

The December tornado created an even bigger challenge for Herndon’s community, which was already struggling to recover from the pandemic.

“Tornado damage has even impacted the day-to-day routines of folks in Mayfield,” Herndon said.

FAKH immediate disaster response:

  • Secured and readied an alternate warehouse location in Paducah that was up and running within a week of the disaster.
  • Delivered 1,627 transient food bags to emergency shelters over the first few days immediately following the tornado.
  • Distributed 7,222 emergency food boxes via Mobile Food Pantries and Partner Agencies.
  • Deployed four Mobile Food Pantries in Bowling Green, Kentucky, serving 2,000 households.
  • Received and distributed over 70 tractor trailer loads of donated food from distributors such as Amazon, Food Lion, HEB, and General Mills, as well as Feeding America and sister food banks across our national network.
  • Distributed 649,636 pounds of donated food; equivalent to 541,363 meals.
  • Extended $488,784 in credits to our partner agencies - food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters - for needed food, supplies and delivery.
  • Provided over $1.5 million in funding to our Partner Distribution Organization, PADD Food Bank in Mayfield, to aid in warehouse construction, other tornado related expenses and assisting partner agencies in western Kentucky with needs.
  • Developed a mini-grant opportunity for partner agencies in affected counties for reimbursement of disaster-related service expenses.
  • Facilitated $70,000 in pass-through funding to Mayfield-Graves County Needline and Food Pantry from LifePoint Health for purchase of commercial refrigerators and a cargo van.
  • Expanded food accessibility across our counties by increasing food supplies and expanding operating hours.
  • Total distribution to tornado affected counties between Dec. 10, 2021 through mid-Feb., 2022 was over 1.5 million pounds of food and supplies.

Ongoing disaster response includes:

  • Coordinated fundraising efforts to offset increased, disaster-related expenses across our network for:
  • Intervened in Bowling Green by Partnering with La Luz del Mundo to provide targeted services to under-resourced Latinx neighbors facing hunger. Rented a freezer pod from December through June for partner agency, Greenwood Park Church of Christ, to increase cold storage supplies. Provided pass-through funding to Salvation Army of Bowling Green for the purchase of easy-to-prepare foods following staff turnover.
  • Planning a second phase grant opportunity for partner agencies in affected counties to address capacity building needs resulting from ongoing recovery services.
  • Packed and distributed 1,100 Kitchen Restock Boxes to help families restock their pantries with non-perishable food staples and condiments. Each box contains 22 items, weighing 24 pounds. Plans are to continue this program as needed for a total of 2,500 boxes.

Leveraging existing programs to meet additional need:

  • Funding FAKH BackPack Programs for a total of $230,504 for the 2022-23 school year in tornado affected counties, Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Hart, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor and Warren Counties, to address additional food-insecurity among school aged students.
  • Increase support of food and supplies to community pantries and soup kitchens in the tornado affected counties.
  • Support for surrounding counties near tornado impacted counties as housing shortages have pushed families out into other communities.

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