‘Why would I stop now?’: EKY native launches food pantry in continued efforts after flood

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 5:30
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 4:05 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:42 PM EST
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KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Perry County native Kate Clemons is working to make a difference for people in Eastern Kentucky.

Clemons recently launched a food pantry in Knott County to continue serving people in need more than one year after the flood.

“Max’s Pantry is under the non-profit Roscoe’s Daughter. It is named after my beloved late nephew,” she said.

After the flood in July 2022, Clemons began serving warm meals to folks in the Knott County community. Since then, the mission of that food tent has continued to grow.

In January 2023, she launched her non-profit, Roscoe’s Daughter Inc., and on the one year anniversary of the flood, Clemons launched Max’s Pantry.

The food pantry was launched to better serve the most critical families in the Knott County area, both long-term and more substantially.

It serves all Knott County Schools, flood survivors, senior citizens and community members in need.

“The demand is very high and like I said, right now our only focus is on level four critical. What level four critical is I am basing that off the USDA screener for hunger. So, I’ve adapted the USDA hunger screener into my pantry form. So, I really try every way possible to identify who needs it the most,” Clemons added.

Clemons has also worked with Knott County school resource officers and case managers to verify.

During the holiday season, Clemons is working to ensure food is on the table for families, seniors and all that are in need with food boxes. She said she is expecting to give out hundreds of the food boxes, but she also has a long waitlist.

“Even a dollar gets me closer to that $50 dollars required to make one more box. Even a penny gets me closer to calling that family and saying you have been removed from the waitlist,” she said.

Each food box cost $50 to put together.

The pantry is currently located in the Hindman First Baptist Student Ministry Building with hopes of getting their own building in the future.

However, as Clemons continues to push forward to help Knott Countians, she said she does not want anyone in the community to go hungry.

“The impossible keeps happening. The miracles every night keep occurring,” she said. “This entire thing has been a walk of faith. So why would I stop now?”

Clemons non-profit is completely operational through community funding and donations.

Roscoe’s Daughter Inc. encompasses Kate’s Food Tent, Max’s Pantry and a disaster relief program.

If you would like to connect with Clemons, click here.