After ice and floodwaters, local group to distribute food donations


PAINTSVILLE, KY (WOWK) — It has been weeks since the devastating flooding hit some parts of our region, and many people are still struggling to get back on their feet.

A non-profit organization called Christian Appalachian Project (CAP) is one group which is still helping to get community partners the food and goods they need to help people in the area.

Dedicated to helping the entire region, CAP is providing much-needed assistance to the area even weeks after devastating flooding hit.

“We receive donated product and we distribute it back out in eastern Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia—all of the Appalachian region…The main reason we’re here is to combat poverty,” says Aaron Thoms, a project manager for CAP.

They help connect donated food and goods to community partners—such as churches, government agencies, food banks and other nonprofits year-round in an effort called ‘Operation Sharing,’ and the local need for these donations has only been amplified by the recent flooding.

“For the flood only, this warehouse has gave out between 15 and 20 tractor-trailer loads. So we’ve injected probably two million dollars’ worth of disaster supplies which includes food in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia since probably February 28th, March 1st,” says Thoms.

Recipients of some of those truckloads, like God’s Hands Ministry Lawrence County Foodbank, were nearly wiped out by the floods.

“All three of our facilities flooded. We had water in all three of them. We lost a little over 78 tons of stuff,” says Rachel Wheeler, president of God’s Hands Ministry Lawrence County Foodbank, “It’s heartbreaking! You see all this stuff that was supposed to go out to help the community, and now it’s destroyed.” 

However, thanks to four truckloads of food and goods from ‘Operation Sharing’s’ efforts, the local food bank is back on track and ready to help the thousands in need in their area.

“We’ve had donations come in since then to help us get back on our feet.. Christian Appalachian Project is really good about doing that,” says Wheeler.

The effort isn’t stopping anytime soon: two truckloads full of food and other goods will be heading out Thursday for people in need to get access to.

One will go to God’s Hands Ministry Lawrence County Foodbank at 8:30 a.m. until supplies run out; another will go to Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission from around 1:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.

For more information on God’s Hands Ministry Lawrence County Foodbank, visit their Facebook page here.

For more information on Cabwaylingo Appalachian Mission, visit their webpage here.

For more information about Christian Appalachian Project, visit their webpage here.

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