DONATE NOW: WYMT, Appalachian Wireless, Kentucky Power team up with God's Pantry Food Bank to put on a virtual food drive

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(WYMT) -

An anonymous donor saw WYMT's promo or news story on the virtual food drive last week and made a large donation.

The total donated now is $255,530 -- that provides more than 2,044,240 meals.

In comparison, our total last week was $6,000.

The money goes to God's Pantry Food bank and all donations stay in WYMT's coverage area.

Update 5/12/20

As WYMT continues its virtual food drive, days like 'Kentucky Give Day' show why giving to a non-profit is so important.

"I would say now more than ever in our history the need is just huge for new individuals, new corporations to lean into the community," said Karen Griffin, Donor Relationships Director for God's Pantry Food Bank. "I think we have learned it is not just about raising money, it is about raising awareness and just letting people know the need is out there.

Griffin says on average more than 200,000 Kentuckians in Central and Eastern Kentucky do not know where their next meal will come from.

During this pandemic, the pantry has faced some problems itself. A shortage of food at grocery stores also means a shortage of food to provide to pantries.

"We are still out there everyday feeding people the best way we can. And without days like today, helping your communities. I honestly do not know what we would do," she said.

Griffin says through this virtual food drive it creates a win-win for all companies involved.

"Companies want to help and realizing that many of the folks that we serve on a daily basis and I think particularly during this pandemic, many of the people that we are serving are people who work in some of these companies."

Thankful for all the support not just today, but throughout the year.

Update 4/20/20

Our virtual food drive during this COVID-19 pandemic continues.

So far, WYMT, Appalachian Wireless and Kentucky Power have raised more than $5,000 for God's Pantry Food Bank.

That's equivalent to 33-thousand meals! You can help us feed even more of your neighbors by donating here.

You can read more on the virtual food drive below.

Original Story

You can donate now. Click here.

WYMT along with Appalachian Wireless and Kentucky Power is teaming up with God's Pantry Food Bank to put on a virtual food drive.

"The reason we're doing it because that's what mountain folk do, that's what we do we help out our neighbors in their time of need and that's what this region has done time and time again," said WYMT General Manager Neil Middleton.

The drive is different than normal food drives of the past. Due to the ongoing COVID19 Pandemic, this is not a drive where food will be accepted.

"Right now because of COVID-19 we are seeing across our network about a 35 percent increase in needs," said Michael Halligan the CEO of God's Pantry.

This will be a drive where only money is accepted. It is a way to still give back to those who need food, but also limiting the risk of spreading the Coronavirus.

"Every dollar counts and every dollar is going to help provide a meal for a child, for a senior citizen, for a family member just down the road from you," said Middleton.

This drive was int he works before Sunday's storms that knocked out power to thousands in Eastern Kentucky.

Now, with some families who are without power having to possibly throw away hundreds of dollars in groceries, this drive has become that much more important.

"It's daunting the task that we need to do but on top of that we have a loss of power due to a storm, a tornado or whatever the case may be," said Halligan.

Donating money can help God's Pantry buy food in bulk. It allows them to buy greater quantity in than sometimes they'll get with just pure donations.

A $10.00 donation can go as far as supplying 80 meals for children and teens.

A $25.00 donation can feed as many as 200 older adults.

As we continue to adapt to new ways of doing things, this virtual food drive is just one of those ways.

While it can change the way we donate, Halligan says the traditional way will not disappear forever.

"A traditional food drive where folks put it in a barrel or collect it, that is an important element of what we do day in and day out, month in and month out, year in and year out. It gives people, they're physically touching the food, they're involved in the process and there's something to be said for that it's an important aspect of what we do," said Halligan.

If you would like to donate and help our Eastern Kentuckians in need click here.