As hurricane season approaches, Feeding America is preparing for potential disaster-related hunger resulting from floods, hurricanes and tornadoes common during warmer months. Feeding America is the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, providing food and grocery products to more than four million Americans each week. The charity will distribute more than 2.3 billion pounds of food and groceries to low-income Americans this year alone.
At Feeding America's network-wide annual conference in Orlando this week, volunteers packed seven truckloads of food to have on hand in the event of a disaster. The boxes include shelf-stable, ready-to-eat items like soups, granola bars and canned tuna, and are on their way to Feeding America food banks in disaster-prone areas.
Six food banks in key locations within the Feeding America network will serve as regional staging centers. They are now being stocked with more than 1.3 million pounds of emergency food, water and cleaning supplies, which will be quickly distributed to other food banks affected by disasters.
"For many parts of our nation, the upcoming months include the frightening uncertainty of hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes and floods. It is our responsibility to be prepared ready to move food to affected areas as quickly as possible -- and to stay as long as needed," said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America."We are there to feed residents long after these disasters disappear from the headlines."
Feeding America has a trained approximately 80 designated staff throughout the food bank network to serve on support teams in the event of a large-scale disaster. In addition, Feeding America provides specialized disaster training for its food banks around the country, ensuring a prepared network and seamless disaster response.
In 2008, Feeding America distributed more 26 million pounds of food and grocery products to food banks throughout Louisiana, Texas and other Gulf Coast states. This assistance provided much-needed relief as these communities worked for many weeks to recover from the significant wind and flood damage that resulted from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Feeding America, formerly named America's Second Harvest, also provided more than 83 million pounds of supplies to Louisiana and other Gulf States during the months-long recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
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