BOWLING GREEN, Ky (WKRN) — Community members are reflecting on one month since an EF-3 tornado tore through Bowling Green, killing 17 people.
Despite the devastation, community members are still stepping up to help one another. That includes Kaitlyn Wilkins, who organized a porch pantry. Wilkins said anyone who needs help can come by and take what they need. No questions asked.
She and her husband’s house was not badly damaged by the tornado but her neighbors were not so fortunate.
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So, they took the food in their pantry and cooked it to help feed their neighbors. She posted about her efforts on Facebook and 40 people showed up that day to volunteer.
They fed about 500 people total, which is when she got the idea to organize food trucks.
”Whitney from WhitDogs, she’s a local food truck here in town. She reached out to me because it was going to rain the next day. She said ’Hey do you want me to cover this neighborhood. I’m happy to help what do you need?’ We ended up getting six food trucks that rotate so everyone gets a break.”
Wilkins said they help feed about 200-300 people a day through deliveries and they see about 70-100 walk-ups.
She takes a look back on a month of opening her heart to others. A month of giving and receiving help in return.
” It’s been crazy, for sure. Um, even just that first day, these people didn’t know me, ” she said. They didn’t know anything about me. I mean, I’ve lived in Bowling Green since I was 10. I mean, some people knew me, but I put a post out on Facebook and I mean, we had probably 40 volunteers show up that first day that we’re like where can I take food I’ve got a wagon let me fill it up with boxes?”
News 2 also spoke to the Reverend Rebecca Kello from Christ Episcopal Church on State Street. They’re partnering with other local churches to hold a lament and remembrance ceremony Tuesday night.
Kello says they’re tired and threadbare and God’s help is needed now more than ever.
”My homily will center around what it means for God to be with us, she said. We may not have a miracle. These people are not going to come back to life. We have to lament and we have to grieve those lives lost.”
On Friday, First Lady Jill Biden and Deputy FEMA Administrator Erik Hooks will travel to Bowling Green where they will join Governor Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear to survey recovery efforts following the devastation from recent tornadoes and volunteer at a local FEMA State Disaster Recovery Center.
The First Lady will highlight the partnership between federal and local agencies that ensures Kentuckians are receiving the aid and relief they need, according to a release from the White House.