Middle Tennesseans pack food boxes to help Kentucky flood victims

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 6:56 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - More help is on the way from Middle Tennessee to parts of Eastern Kentucky that have been devastated by flooding.

Five trucks of supplies were filled on Monday morning by volunteers at Churches of Christ Disaster Relief in Nashville. Organizers said trucks that were sent over the weekend were emptied to help people in need within just a couple of hours.

The army of volunteers worked to pack 1,500 food boxes that can last a family of four up to a week.

“These will be the supplies they don’t even know they need,” Shane Carlton said. “The people are in shock. They don’t have a clue what they need, but Disaster Relief knows, and they send what is needed.”

Carlton said she started volunteering after seeing the difference a simple box of supplies can make for someone who has lost everything after the Waverly flooding.

She was part of the group of church members from across the region that formed an assembly line to make sure every box got loaded up with jars of peanut butter, canned vegetables and ready to prepare meals.

In addition to food, the kits include important things like toothpaste and cutlery to help people get back to a sense of normal after possibly losing everything.

Thomas Peak drove more than an hour to volunteer because his hometown outside of Prestonburg, Kentucky, was destroyed in the flooding. He wanted to give back to his friends and family through the boxes of food.

“They have lost everything,” Peak said. “They don’t know what why to turn, where to go, because everything they had and everything they owned was gone. Their homes, their livelihoods is not there now. They’re in a daze. It’s going to be several days, several weeks, several months until they even understand the magnitude of what is going on because they’re in a mad dash trying to figure out what to do.”

Peak said he is concerned things will only get worse with more rain impacting the hardest hit areas, but he is thankful so many people came out to help his neighbors.

Other volunteers were inspired by Peak and his message, including B.J. Sullivan. He said he cleared his calendar to help pack the food boxes and is hoping more people in his church community will continue to make a different for the people hurt by the flooding.

“We can go back to our community and maybe spur someone on to help even more,” Sullivan said. “Maybe there are 1,500 more boxes somewhere that someone wants to donate and send out. All you’ve got to do is want to.”

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