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'We’ve lost the building': Estill County food bank displaced by flooding

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Posted at 3:06 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 19:18:36-05

ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Anthony Lowery said he put on the waders and went into the God’s Outreach Food Bank on Tuesday, but didn’t take any pictures. It was probably too depressing for that.

“Water is about halfway up my desk,” he said. “Probably an estimated $80,000 in food is more than likely destroyed."

Lowery said the building is likely to be a total loss as well as a result of Sunday’s storms, which ravaged portions of eastern Kentucky with crippling flood water.

“We won’t be able to use it anymore, so until we can get another building we’ll have to do everything on a mobile, weekly basis,” Lowery said.

Lowery said storing perishable items is also going to be a challenge in the weeks ahead, as several refrigeration units inside the building were damaged beyond repair. Fortunately, God’s Outreach has a partner in nearby Madison County, but it’s still going to take quite an effort to meet the demands, given everything their Estill County branch has lost.

“Tomorrow is Thursday, so we’ve already got plans for trucking to come here tomorrow,” Lowery said of the Pantry’s promise to keep making distributions on Thursday and Friday of each week.

Lowery plans to use the parking lot at Irvine’s First Church of God beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday.

“The need overnight has grown,” Lowery said, noting that many residents across the county have been displaced due to the water damage.

Lowery’s organization donates nearly 150,000 pounds of food each month to those in need in Estill and Madison counties, so obviously the loss of $80,000 of that food is not a small amount.

For now, however, he said the food is there to make up the difference, but the process won’t be easy going forward.

“…the logistics of it are a lot more strenuous than it’s ever been,” he said.

If you’d like to make a donation to God’s Outreach Food Bank, click here to be directed to their webpage.