ASHLAND, Ky., July 22, 2021– Kentucky Power is partnering with WYMT and local businesses to Power Up the Pantry and replenish depleted area food pantries for the second year. The inaugural event in 2019 collected a one-day near record 7.5 tons of food and more than $17,000.
The second daylong event is planned for August 26. Donations benefit God’s Pantry Food Bank and eastern Kentucky community agencies served by Facing Hunger Food Bank. Power Up the Pantry donations collected in Hazard, Pikeville and Prestonsburg will go to God’s Pantry, which operates distribution centers that serve food pantries in eastern Kentucky. This year, the event has expanded to include Facing Hunger, which serves food pantries in northeast Kentucky, including the greater Ashland area and surrounding counties.
“We are encouraging everyone to join the effort by collecting food through their employer or community groups and customers," said Bob Shurtleff, external affairs manager – Kentucky Power. "We are coming out of a really tough 18 months and with winter a few months away, we believe this a good time to get back in our communities and help replenish the food supply."
On August 26, from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., collection sites will again be set up in Hazard at the ARH Medical Mall parking lot on Black Gold Boulevard and at Big Sandy Community & Technical College’s parking lot near the Science Center at Bert Combs Drive in Prestonsburg. Two new drop-off sites have been added at Appalachian Wireless Arena on the Main Street side in Pikeville and at Central Park at the end of Chuck Woolery Boulevard in Ashland.
“An easy way for businesses to participate is to put up collection barrels for employees or customers to make donations of non-perishable food, baby supplies, including diapers, and then deliver the goods to one of the collection sites on August 26,” Shurtleff said. “Money also is welcome. Businesses and individuals can make charitable contributions to the cause. Checks can be made payable to God’s Pantry Food Bank or Facing Hunger Food Bank."
God’s Pantry typically supplies more than 34.5 million pounds of food and 13.6 million pounds of fresh produce to more than 400 food pantries and meal programs in central and eastern Kentucky. Facing Hunger, based in Huntington, West Virginia, serves food pantries in Boyd, Greenup, Lawrence and Martin counties.
Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Ashland, provides service to about 165,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties and is an operating company in the American Electric Power system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States.