God’s Pantry Food Bank, Kentucky Power announce this year’s ‘Power Up the Pantry’ event

Published: Aug. 23, 2021 at 8:45 PM EDT
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(WYMT) - A band of local partners are coming together for what they call a community initiative.

“We’re trying to bring food back into the pantries for the holiday season and get them restocked,” Kentucky Power External Affairs Manager Bob Shurtleff said. “And we know they’ve been hit very, very hard through the pandemic and this is an opportunity for us to come together.”

Kentucky Power and God’s Pantry Food Bank announced this year’s “Power Up the Pantry” event on Monday, partnering with WYMT, Appalachian Regional Healthcare and Big Sandy Community and Technical College in an attempt to bring more food to the region.

“There are 16.5 percent of folks who live in Central and Eastern Kentucky who are food insecure. That’s one of the highest food insecurity rates in the nation,” God’s Pantry Food Bank Chief Executive Officer Michael Halligan said. “In Eastern Kentucky, four of the 10 most food insecure counties in the nation are in Eastern Kentucky.”

Originally started in 2019, the event is expanding from two locations to four this year.

“This year we’re going to be in Hazard, we’re going to be in Prestonsburg, we’re going to be in Pikeville and we’re also going to be in Ashland with our sister food bank, Facing Hunger,” Halligan said. “And we now how generous the communities are, we also know how much people understand what we’re faced with right now.”

Officials hope that this will allow them to fill more pantries after they were wiped clean this summer.

“Hopefully extending this out into four locations we can have a bigger impact and help support the pantries in our service territory,” Shurtleff said.

The 2019 event raised more than $17,000 in monetary donations along with 7.5 tons of food.

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