Church, food pantry in need of community's help after flood - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Church, food pantry in need of community's help after flood

Floodwaters destroyed food supplies and equipment inside Beechwood Baptist Church. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Floodwaters destroyed food supplies and equipment inside Beechwood Baptist Church. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The kitchen may have been hit hardest as everything in it is ruined. (Source: WAVE 3 News) The kitchen may have been hit hardest as everything in it is ruined. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
What was St. Matthews Area Ministries is now a maze of extension cords. (Source: WAVE 3 News) What was St. Matthews Area Ministries is now a maze of extension cords. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Reverend Robert Blackburn (Source: WAVE 3 News) Reverend Robert Blackburn (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A food pantry that serves needy families and seniors in Louisville is out of business after floodwaters destroyed food supplies and equipment inside Beechwood Baptist Church. 

What was St. Matthews Area Ministries is now a maze of extension cords and more than 70 fans trying to dry out the basement of the church. 

Sunday, the power of flood waters took over and the Reverend Robert Blackburn had no choice but to watch his church go under.

"Two of our exterior doors were blown off their hinges by the pressure of the water," he said Thursday.

The big metal doors were twisted. Flooding took over the hallways, music and choir rooms with about three feet of water making a dirty destructive mess. The kitchen may have been hit hardest as everything in it is ruined. Blackburn estimated at least $70,000 in damages and he said it gets worse.

"We don't have flood insurance, we have seepage and backup insurance," he said.

St. Matthews Area Ministries, which calls the church home, feeds about 60 families every Tuesday with fresh food and supplies.

"Right now we're at a standstill and not able to do anything," said St. Matthews Area Ministries Executive Director Julie Abbott. 

Many of those supplies lost are now filling up a huge dumpster outside the church. The large waterlogged walk-in refrigerator is drying out and hopefully can be saved. The ministry's clients desperately need the help and Abbott said they could be your neighbors.

“From the littlest being a baby that needs formula,” she said, “to an elderly member who's somewhere in the community that doesn't get help from Medicaid or their family."

The agency's motto "pulling together since 1972" will be put to the test more than ever in 2015.  

The church and the food pantry have set up a donation page on the Beechwood Baptist Church Facebook page

Next week, an engineer is coming out to see if any of the flooding was caused by water backup in the hopes of getting a little help from insurance.

Tuesday morning, the food pantry hopes to put together a makeshift farmers market outside the church from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to help their families. 

For the time being, families can seek help at Eastern Area Community Ministries on Westport Road.  Appointments are necessary.  

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