Evansville, Indiana (WFIE) – During Christmas 2021, people in western Kentucky were still picking up debris two weeks after the deadly tornado. Tri-State Food Bank was among the many organizations that stepped in to help at that time, and it continues to do so this holiday season.
Donations flooded churches, schools and warehouses following last year’s tornadoes. Then, after devastating flooding in eastern Kentucky in July, communities provided food to needy Kentuckians.
“It was devastating to see that destruction,” said Glenn Roberts, executive director of the Tri-State Food Bank.
Time has passed and Roberts wants to make sure these communities are not forgotten.
“Some of these families will take years to recover and move into permanent housing,” Roberts said. I had the idea of stocking the pantry when I needed it.”
Focusing on rebuilding, Roberts says families who move into new homes may not have much to fill their homes with. That’s why we provide you with the ability to stock your pantry.
“This is something they didn’t expect,” Roberts said. “They wanted to get a new home, yes. They didn’t think it would cost another $1,000 to stock the pantry.”
He also says his team has learned valuable lessons from the natural disasters of the past 12 months. One of his things they soon realized was that the survivors were gifted with so many canned goods that they had no way to open them, rendering them useless.
“What we did was get disaster relief funds and buy 8,000 can openers.”
And now, Tri-State Food Bank is the unofficial can opener capital of the Midwest and can ship can openers to survivors of the next natural disaster.
“It’s our job to think about these things and what we’re missing,” Roberts said. “Where can we meet a need that no one else is meeting?”
In addition to stockpiling $1,000 gift cards and can openers, Roberts said food banks are working with T-Mobile to load people’s phones with data and minutes. He says those who qualify for the call can focus on spending money on food and other essentials this holiday season.
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