ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – After flooding took the lives of dozens and the livelihoods of many more in Kentucky, local grocery chain Food City took to raising funds for those impacted.
Food City CEO Steve Smith sat down with News Channel 11 to shed light on community efforts in the area, as well as what you can do to help.
“Unfortunately the loss of life is just devastating there, and it’s such a wider area that’s flooded in Eastern Kentucky,” Smith said. “I think there are 13 or 14 counties involved in this flooding, we’ve got stores in most of those areas over there so we know firsthand from our associates and our folks that have been there helping.”
At checkouts throughout the region, Food City shoppers can donate directly to relief efforts for those in Kentucky most impacted by the disaster. With the most recent bout of flooding in the area beginning to repair, Smith said he’s expecting high turnout for the people of Eastern Kentucky.
“We had a really good response from out customers for the folks over in Buchanan County sadly just a few weeks ago,” Smith said about Food City’s last fundraiser with United Way. To start the giving, Food City is adding $25,000 in seed money to the fund.
From August 3 to August 12, shoppers can round up their total or donate a specific amount with their purchase. When the fundraising is complete, it will be provided to Appalachian Kentucky Crisis Fund to provide relief to families.
“We live in a giving area,” Smith said. “A lot of folks are kind, a lot have come out of the coal fields to this area so they understand the topography and they understand the challenges. And I know our folks will step up.”
Overall, Smith said the little changes made by nearby residents can total up to major differences to neighbors in the region.
“If somebody rounds up 50 cents or 75 cents that doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but we have tens of thousands of folks that come through out stores that are going to participate,” Smith said. “It can raise literally hundreds of thousands of dollars for the folks up there.”