Gustav's Devastation Leave Thousands Needing Emergency Food and Water

September 3, 2008

From Louisiana to Alabama, the damage left in the wake of Hurricane Gustav is evident, with thousands of homes damaged and tens of thousands without power. Food banks within the Feeding America network (formerly named the America's Second Harvest Network), the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States, are currently assessing the damage and are actively engaged in the early stages of recovery. Feeding America announced today, a goal to raise $1 million to help with the hurricane relief efforts. The announcement was made today by Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America.

Though national media outlets are shifting their attention away from the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav, Feeding America and its member food banks are continuing to provide relief to the regions affected by the storm. More than 30 truckloads of food and grocery product have been secured and dispatched to the affected areas, and more assistance is forthcoming. When evacuated residents return to their homes, the need for emergency food assistance will continue, especially since many people will not be able to cook meals in their homes, as power is not expected to return to most hit areas until this weekend, at the earliest.

"There is still great need in the area, and even greater need will arise as evacuees return home," said Vicki Escarra."Our member food banks that serve thousands of at-risk families on a daily basis in the affected communities before the storm hit are now preparing to dramatically increase the amount of food and groceries they supply as entire communities begin to return to their homes. We're here to help long after this has faded from the headlines."

Feeding America has set a fund raising goal of $1 million to help hurricane relief efforts. Financial gifts to the Feeding America Disaster Relief Fund will be used to provide emergency food products and personal care items to individuals and families in need immediately following a disaster. To make a financial donation, visit www.feedingamerica.org.

Feeding America is also coordinating preparations for tropical storms Hanna, Ike and Josephine, in the event that one or more of those storms cause damage in the southeast. Emergency food and grocery product have been staged at food banks in the Gulf Coast states and eastern seaboard.

"It is critical that corporations and individuals support our recovery work now, with Gustav, and throughout this entire hurricane season," added Escarra."Our eyes remain on needs along the Gulf Coast,as well as the storms approaching from the east."

The Feeding America network supports disaster relief and recovery in communities by distributing assistance through the more than 63,000 local agencies that it supports on a daily basis. Feeding America also provides immediate relief through emergency feeding centers.

Feeding America is a key outlet for many corporate partners to get their donations into the system and to the people with great needs – especially as affected communities attempt to recover in the weeks after the storm. Major food manufacturers or retailers with bulk, shrink-wrapped and palletized food and grocery products are urged to contact Feeding America at 312.263.2303 to share information of their potential donation. Please note, based on the location and make-up of those donations, product may or may not be used for disaster relief efforts. Feeding America corporate representatives will help donors determine the best use for their potential donation.

To learn more and/or to make a donation, please visit: www.feedingamerica.org


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