HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- On Monday, we showed the long lines of people in West Virginia who receive food stamps waiting to get replacement stamps for food lost during the power outage.
Soon afterward, we heard a cry, loud and clear, from folks who don't receive government assistance but who still struggle to put food on the table. They're asking for help, too.
We have a look at other resources available, regardless of income level, to help everyone replenish their groceries.
Behind surviving the heat, having enough to eat was the biggest concern during the power outages. As power was restored, restocking the refrigerators wasn't always an easy task.
“This is a good place to come. They helped me out,” Richard Adkins said.
Adkins, like thousands in our region, was hurting for food after the power outage ruined everything in his refrigerator and freezer. But he found help at the New Baptist Church food pantry in Huntington.
“It's empty," said Joyce Mannon who runs the pantry. "We’re on our way to get more meat. We had a lot of people who needed help."
Mannon says the pantry is seeing much more business than usual during the storm recovery.
“Some of them said they didn't think they'd ever be in this position," she said. "They'd already filled their refrigerators, and the power went back off and they lost all their food again."
Adkins can count on two fingers how many times he's gone to a shelter getting help when it matters most.
Leigh Anne Zappin is the director of the Huntington Area Food Bank, which supplies more than 260 local pantries in 17 counties in our three-state region. She wants to make it clear anyone can get food from a local food pantry -- regardless of income.
“We understand," Zappin said. "That's why we're here. We'll be more than happy to help you find a pantry in your area.”
Another way to get reimbursed on the food you buy is to file a claim through your homeowner's insurance policy. Tracy Lipscomb represents Erie Insurance. He says of the four major carriers in West Virginia, all of them have a provision to replace lost food -- but they are subject to your deductible.
“Let's say your deductible is $500 and you claim $600 in groceries, you'll get $100 back from the insurance company. So, you'll want to weigh that and see if it's worth it down the road if you have other claims to file,” Lipscomb said.
If you have other damage to your home to file from tree or wind damage, you can lump in lost food all on one claim. Call your insurance agent to find out the details of your particular plan.
If you need to find a food pantry close to you, we've made it easy, just click on the Featured Links here at WSAZ.com.
From that website, you can find the location, hours and phone number of each shelter.
Finally, there are opportunities for you to help your neighbors in need and help the local food banks replenish their supply. There's a food drive in Huntington at the Pullman Plaza Hotel from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. It is sponsored by Clear Channel Communications.
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