As the saying goes: Every cloud has a silver lining.
That was the case Thursday morning when a semi crash on Interstate 64 led to a generous donation of food to four local organizations.
“We made the most of a bad situation,” Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said. “It took a bad thing and turned it into something good.”
Both eastbound lanes of I-64 were closed for more than three hours after a semi-trailer ran off the road near mile marker 50.
The driver was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, Melton said.
The tractor-trailer, which was carrying food for Kroger, flipped in the crash.
“Obviously everything was upside down,” Melton said, “there were cartons that were busted.”
The crash meant the food was no longer allowed to go on Kroger shelves.
Rather than let it go to waste, Melton said Edwin Marcellino, president of the Louisville-based trucking company Mala, spoke with officials at Kroger. The decision was made to donate the salvageable frozen food to local charitable organizations.
The total value of the donated food exceeded $10,000, said Tim McGurk, public affairs manager for Kroger’s Louisville division.
“Ending hunger is Kroger’s number one community initiative so we’re pleased that some good has come from the accident,” McGurk said in an email sent to The State Journal. “We are most thankful that no one was seriously injured.”
Inmates from the Franklin County Regional Jail helped load boxes, many of which were held in a refrigeration truck until they could be distributed. The truck was loaned by MBM, Melton said.
Benefiting organizations include the Frankfort Senior Activity Center, the Franklin County Women’s Shelter, the Simon House and ACCESS Soup Kitchen and Men’s Shelter, Melton said.
“You never wish for a truck to crash, but this happens,” ACCESS executive director Andrew Baker said. “It’s always a big surprise.”
This is the second time Baker said the soup kitchen has received food after an accident. He and other charity leaders called the donation “a blessing.”
“This is going to benefit us tremendously,” Matt Kirby, chairman of the board at the Simon House, said. “We are very low on frozen food right now.”
Kirby said the circumstances behind the donation are unfortunate, but the outcome ensures they can continue serving those in need.
“It really is turning lemons into lemonade,” he said.