‘People Helping People’ brings food donation here to assist needy families


With Christmas Day just a week away, many people focus on the season of giving; of helping those who are in need.

For the employees of the Tanners Creek Plant in Lawrenceburg, which is a part of American Electric Power, it truly is a season of “People Helping People”.

Last Friday, volunteers from the company came to Switzerland County to deliver pallets of canned goods that will be handed out to families in need here. The group delivered to the Switzerland County Food Pantry at the Switzerland County 4-H Fairgrounds; and then traveled to the Jefferson Craig firehouse, where supplies for the Vevay American Legion food project are stored.

“The canned good that they bring here for us are used for our food baskets,” Rita Sullivan said. “They also delivered to the food pantry, and they gave them as much as we get. It’s just amazing.”

This is the 25th year that AEP’s “People Helping People” program has provided food for the American Legion program here.

“We’ve been doing this in the area for 27 years,” Sonia Deshong of AEP said. “The American Legion here was the first place we brought supplies to.”

On Friday, the group delivered 273 cases of food to the food pantry and another 273 cases to the American Legion. That’s over 13,000 cans of food.

“We have a non-profit organization called ‘People Helping People’,” Sonia Deshong said. “It’s not affiliated with AEP, but AEP employees and contractors support the program.”

Sonia Deshong said that the Tanner’s Creek plant is the coal plant, and that it is closing this year.

“Lawrenceburg is the gas plant that has been there just a few years, and they’re taking it over,” she said. “Now Kroger’s has given us the food at cost, and then we have the Kroger union guys that have come to help deliver. Kroger gives us the truck and the truck driver to use for the day, and they deliver all of this free of charge.”

Sonia Deshong said that there are 40 employees at the gas plant, and they will be involved in keeping the program moving forward into the future.

“They’ll be taking it over,” Sonia Deshong said. “We get contractors that we work with to make donations, and we raise money by having a marathon in the spring. We have golf outing in July; and then we do the canned food drive in November. That’s how we raise our funds. We raise about $40,000 a year.”

She said that the organization supports four counties: Switzerland, Ohio, Ripley, and Dearborn.

“The truck deliveries go to eight different food pantries, and then we have smaller pantries that we call and we do little hand deliveries to,” Sonia Deshong, said.

The group that was in Switzerland County on Friday represented AEP Tanner’s Creek employees; Lawrenceburg Gas Company employees; and Kroger employees.

Following the deliveries, the group was treated to lunch at the American Legion.