Jim Mullenauer, of Kensington, loaded the last few bags and boxes of food into a U-Haul truck and left for a six-hour drive to West Virginia Saturday morning.
He was delivering 12,500 pounds of food and water to residents of Fayette County, W. Va., a community he said was particularly hard hit by the June 29 storm that also affected Montgomery County.
“This is really about feeding people,” Mullenauer, a trustee at St. Paul‘s United Methodist Church in Kensington, which sponsored the “Fill the Truck” drive, said.
Mullenauer said he got the idea for food collection while watching TV coverage of local storm damage.
“The newscast indicated how badly West Virginia was hit. They were hit worse than we were,” he said.
He said he got in touch with the Rev. Sue Lowther of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Grafton, W. Va., who, with her husband, is a disaster coordinator for the United Methodist Church in W. Va., who told him they needed nonperishable food and bottled water.
“We have a lot of water,” he said, “they requested it and, boy, they’re going to get a lot of it,”
As Mullenauer finished loading, Lisa Underwood, of Kensington, pulled up with a bag of food and a gallon of water to donate.
Underwood said she is not a member of St. Paul’s but heard about the drive from her community LISTSERVE.
“I decided it would be a good thing to do,” Underwood said. “I also work with dog rescue and know that shelters in that area are overwhelmed.”
Adam Snell, senior pastor at St. Paul’s said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.
“I’m in the business of serving an overwhelming God, but this is tremendous,” he said.