Food giveaway for laid off coal miners held in Pikeville

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Thanks to donations from throughout the community, an organization in Pikeville is giving away food to laid off coal miners and their families.

Hundreds of laid off coal miners came to 'Thankful Hearts Food Pantry' in Pikeville after they say they have been struggling to make ends meet as coal layoffs continue to impact the community.

It has been a difficult few weeks for, Pat Maggard, and her family since her husbands job...a job he held for more than 10 years is now gone.

"You don't have money to pay your bills, don't have money to feed your're in hard times now," explains Maggard.

That same story can be heard over and over as jobs continue to dwindle with a recent layoff of more than 500 miners.

Trissia Scott, with 'Thankful Hearts Food Pantry' says, "Last week we had some families come in who might lose their homes and they don't know what to do with Thanksgiving and Christmas coming up. All these emotions keep slapping them in the face at once."

They are emotions that many of the families say they've never had to deal with.

Maggard says, "This is the first time in all our life we've ever had to ask anybody for anything. Usually we are helping other people, now we are on the other end needing help."

They also have a strong message for President Obama. "He needs to put himself beneath the coal mines...just one time...and then he'd know where these boys are coming from. His family is fed, his family is taken care of, his family's education is paid for....ours is not anymore," says Maggard.

Leaving questions of what comes next, "We don't have a clue, we have no clue," says Maggard. Bobbi Barnett adds, "Just living day to day to see what happens and pray to God that He will take care of us like he always has."

Remaining strong in faith and support from their community.

Scott says it was an easy decision for the pantry and other organizations to step up and help the miners, "it is what the good Lord put us here to do and he is sending the food so I know we are doing the right thing."

Organizers at the food pantry say they will continue to help miners every other Friday as long as there is a need and food to giveaway. Miners do need to bring their layoff letters with them.

For information on the giveaway or how you can help, contact Trissia Scott at (606) 437-6221.

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