Feeding Florida joined forces with the Florida Division of Emergency Management to provide water and food for those affected by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. Thirteen loads of state-owned water (522,000 half-liter bottles of water) were delivered by Feeding Florida teams to neighboring states in need, in addition to over 17,000 state-owned emergency Meals Ready to Eat (MRE’s). As part of this effort, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida delivered a semi-truck filled with water to Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank in Lousiana.
“We understand first-hand the impact immediate support can provide during a disaster,” said Kevin Guthrie, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director. “The Division values strong interstate partnerships, especially during a disaster, and the state was proud to assist Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama during their Hurricane Ida response. I also want to thank Feeding Florida for their continued partnership and ensuring we’re able to quickly deliver critical resources, like food and water, when it’s most needed.”
The August hurricane left four states with an overwhelming need for support from outside sources. Florida’s network of 12 food banks, including Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and the state’s agency worked together to assess this need and quickly review existing inventory that could help. State water bottles and MREs were allocated from Florida’s stockpile of supplies that is held by the Feeding Florida network and did not take away from the resources needed within the state for the remainder of hurricane season. Feeding Florida paid for the transportation of all materials to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
“We are grateful for such a wonderful partnership with the Florida Division of Emergency Management that allows us to help during times of great need,” said Robin Safley, Feeding Florida Executive Director. “Our network regularly provides disaster relief aid within our state, but when the time comes to help our neighbors in the Southeast region, we are able to do so thanks to the support of the Division of Emergency Management and Feeding America.”
In addition to the state-owned water and emergency food delivered to Feeding America food banks in affected states, the Feeding Florida network of food banks continues to work with the states affected to assess need and continue to help.