June 2022

IMPACT Community Action giving out Kroger gift cards to those affected by power outages

Courtesy of The Columbus Dispatch
By Micah Walker
June 22, 2022

Greater Columbus residents who had food spoil as a result of last week’s power outages may be eligible for a Kroger gift card through a local nonprofit group.

IMPACT Community Action is offering $250 gift cards to help people replace food lost during the outages. According to the Columbus-based organization’s Facebook page, card availability is first-come, first-served and people must bring a photo ID and a copy of their American Electric Power bill.

IMPACT is hosting walk-ins at its 711 Southwood Avenue location Monday from 5 to 7 p.m., June 30 from 10 a.m. to noon, and July 1 from 10 a.m. to noon.

The initiative is part of the $1 million contribution AEP is making to assist Greater Columbus residents who were financially affected by the power outages. The company is working with IMPACT Community Action, the Columbus Urban League, Life Care Alliance and the Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

Food assistance a need in the community

The organization hosted its first walk-in for the initiative Wednesday and 350 people showed up, said Community Engagement Director Jennifer Wood. She said IMPACT served about 75 to 80 people on Wednesday.

“We did not start until 10 a.m. and we had people showing up at 7 a.m.,” she said. “It really drives home the point of how much need there is in the community and how many people were affected by the power outage.”

To continue helping residents during the summer, IMPACT is hosting a “Beat the Heat” event June 30, where people can apply for the nonprofit’s Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program. The program lasts from July 1 to Sept. 30 and provides eligible Ohioans with assistance paying an electric bill or central air conditioning repairs.

Outage pockets remain

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 3,632 customer outages in Franklin County, according to the AEP outage map. The hardest-hit areas are 2,815 outages on Clime Road in West Columbus, 313 outages on Dublin-Granville Road and Cleveland Avenue in Northland and 299 outages on S. High Street on the South Side.

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