West Virginia and Ohio are recovering from severe storms that caused widespread power outages. Both have declared states of emergency.
Richard Belisle of the Herald-Mail newspaper reported on Monday that 40,000 worth of food had been ruined in Jefferson County, West Virginia when the power went off. This food was meant for the summer feeding program for children.
Dr. Sheri Hoff of the Jefferson County Public Schools said Tuesday morning, “At this time, we have not been able to replace the lost food. We had hoped for assistance from the FDA but have not heard back yet.” Jefferson County has a childhood hunger rate of nearly 14 percent according to a Feeding America study making summer feeding programs very critical.
The Mountaineer Food Bank of West Virginia is working to bring aid to shelters as well as resume regular food distributions. Chad Morrison of the Mountaineer Food Bank in West Virginia says “We are up and running but will need more supplies to meet the need.”
Matthew 25: Ministries of Ohio is bringing water and ice to storm victims in the Charleston West Virginia area.Tim Mettey, Vice President and Disaster Relief Coordinator for Matthew 25, says “The scope of the storm’s damage is incredible. We’ve seen cars stranded by the side of the road, with anything white fluttering from the window to indicate that the occupants need help. Gas stations with power are limiting what each car can get in order to conserve supplies. I’m told that some people may not have their power restored until well after the 4th of July. We will be distributing water and ice to shelters all weekend long to help these people and will continue to help them as long as we are needed.”
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says, “we are working with emergency management and all food banks have been mobilized.”