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Mayor Encourages Churches to Check on Members
By West Kentucky Star Staff
PADUCAH - Paducah Mayor Brandi Harless has encouraged area churches to contact their members to check on them and help meet any needs they may have. 

She told, "The Greg Dunker Show," that in an earlier meeting with emergency officials, there was discussion of how first responders went door-to-door during the 2009 ice storm to make sure residents were safe. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has led to social distancing, Harless says it would be great if churches could check on their members every couple of days by telephone. 

Harless said, "The needs are only going to gradually get worse as we go along and people are staying at home longer."

Any churches that are doing this are encouraged to notify Anne Bidwell at the United Way of Paducah by emailing her at anne@unitedwaypaducah.org. Harless said if Bidwell says that churches aren't doing this or telling her about it, city leaders may need to find other ways to reach residents to make sure they are OK. 

Harless said, "We're just trying to make sure everyone's getting a phone call, especially our elderly population and those of our members that might be having to stay at home anyway or have disabilities or might have a challenge in getting some resources."

She added that anyone providing help should try to maintain social distancing as much as possible. This may require placing groceries on someone's porch, but not actually touching their door or speaking to them face-to-face. 

"We want to make sure that we're not perpetuating this issue by doing this, but we also want to make sure that we're helping people," Harless said. 

She said the city has set up a hotline number that can be used if a person needs resources or help but doesn't specifically know who to contact. This could include folks who need to speak with area agencies that can provide food, medical supplies, or help with bills that are due. 

The city's customer experience staff can provide this information to those who call 270-444-8800.

The Mayor also said that the McCracken County Senior Center has plenty of capacity to provide more meals than what are currently being picked up. Anyone 60 or older can get meals by driving through the center's parking lot between 11:45 am - 12:30 pm each weekday. The center is at 1400 H.C. Mathis Drive. 

She also encouraged anyone who can help to donate food or supplies to non-profit organizations such as the Family Service Society, Paducah Cooperative Ministry, St. Vincent De Paul, Martha's Vineyard, or the Salvation Army. Most of these organizations have had their supplies depleted during this time. 

In fact, the city's Parks Department and Public Works staff will be helping deliver food next week to clients of the Family Service Society. This will help fill a need for volunteers, since many people are simply staying home at this time. It will also reduce the need for those clients to leave home to get what they need. 

Published 07:05 PM, Thursday Mar. 26, 2020
Updated 06:35 PM, Friday Mar. 27, 2020

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