Ready, Set: Food Banks Respond to Disaster
The recipe says it makes 1,500 servings and this wasn’t part of the planned curriculum.
They have been here since 6 AM. Boiling chicken and pulling the meat off the bone. These four Triad Community Kitchen culinary students are only in their 4th week of the program, but they are getting a crash course in disaster response.
Today, students and staff at Second Harvest’s Triad Community Kitchen are preparing ready-to-heat meals in preparation of Hurricane Irma. Salvation Army of Great Winston-Salem, one of our partner programs, is on standby to deploy a response unit to aid families impacted by the storm. Where they go and where our meals will end up will be determined by this storm.
These meals are but one piece in an intricate puzzle of disaster response.
Second Harvest is part of Feeding America – the national network of food banks which in addition to year round hunger relief operations, also helps to orchestrate disaster response to serious incidents such as Hurricane Irma and last week’s Hurricane Harvey. When disasters of this magnitude strike, our goal as a network is to take care of as many people as we can as quickly as we can. For Feeding America, Second Harvest, and the nationwide network of food banks, that means making sure people have food, water and other basic necessities — so that in the face of such devastation, families don’t have to worry about whether they’ll have enough to eat.
Second Harvest has taken an active role in recovery efforts following major disasters, working with FEMA, The American Red Cross, The Salvation Army and the North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NC VOAD).
Second Harvest is also a member of the Forsyth County COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disaster) and is prepared to support disaster relief throughout the state of North Carolina and especially in our 18-county service area, which we care for year round.
What is happening now?
Currently, our sister food banks in Texas are coordinating massive relief efforts to support the people whose lives have been turned upside down by Hurricane Harvey. Feeding America is actively working with members of Congress and the Administration to “unlock” Disaster SNAP and USDA foods for disaster assistance. More than 380 truckloads of supplied and food and over $2 million in funding have already been committed to Feeding America for Texas and Gulf Region disaster relief; 330 truckloads have already been sent to the region.
In the Carolinas, we and our sister Feeding America food banks are actively preparing to support the anticipated needs in Florida and the Carolinas in the wake of Irma and Jose.
Governor Cooper has mobilized the North Carolina Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster and our sister food bank in Raleigh is representing our network in developing plans.
WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO RIGHT NOW TO HELP THE PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE BEEN AND MAY BE IMPACTED BY THESE STORMS?
Financial donations are critical right now. Feeding America is accepting donations that will be used to support ALL of our networks response efforts… which includes securing, staging and distributing water, food and other critical supplies for impacted families.
Along with everyone else, food bankers are carefully watching the forecasts regarding Irma, and we will be actively engaged in supporting any necessary relief efforts for our service area working with our local, on-the-ground partner agencies.