Residents along the eastern and southern coastlines know it’s never too early to prepare for hurricane season. With the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaching in a couple of weeks, the reminder to be at-the-ready is felt even more.
A few months ago, 50 Abbott, VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) and food bank volunteers gathered at Feeding America-member Second Harvest Food Bank in New Orleans to do just that – sort, pack, label and stack – compiling 1,200 disaster-relief packs designed to fill the gap for victims of disaster until traditional relief is made available.
Filled with non-perishable food such as protein bars and bottles of protein drinks, each pack meets one family’s nutritional need up to three days and serves as the first wave of relief after a disaster occurs.
Packs were pre-positioned in five Feeding America food banks throughout Louisiana.
Proving the value of preparedness, recently widespread flooding in Texas impacted millions of area residents. Thirteen Feeding America food banks had counties within their service area that was declared a state of disaster. In quick response, Feeding America immediately sent a separate shipment of 1,200 disaster packs, food donations, and cleaning products to Texas food banks to assist in their outreach efforts.
Learn more about how the Feeding America national network of food banks provides food assistance during disasters.
* Jerod Matthews is the senior account manager for manufacturing sourcing for Feeding America and brings 20 years of experience in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry to develop and implement business solutions and donor strategies for Feeding America partners.