How Feeding America and food banks are responding to Hurricanes Delta, Sally and Laura

October 12, 2020
by Paul Morello

What’s Happening?

In just over two months, the Gulf Coast has been devastated by three powerful hurricanes.

The most recent storm, Hurricane Delta, made landfall Friday, October 9 near Creole, LA as a Category 2 storm, with winds up to 100 mph, heavy rainfall and flooding. At the peak of the storm, nearly 800,000 residents in the area were without power. As of October 12, nearly 200,000 Louisiana residents were still without electricity.

Making a difficult situation even worse, Hurricane Delta hit just 15 miles east of where Hurricane Laura made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane in late August. That storm brought winds up to 150 mph and widespread destruction. Some people who had been forced from their homes because of Laura were still in shelters when Delta hit. Others were still rebuilding and getting back on their feet. Because of Hurricane Delta, that work will be slowed, or will start over entirely for many Louisiana residents.

In between Hurricanes Laura and Delta, Hurricane Sally also impacted the Gulf Coast, making landfall on the morning of September 16 as a Category 2 storm near Gulf Shores, Alabama. In addition to destructive winds, the storm dumped 30+ inches of rain on Alabama and Florida in a short time, causing significant flooding. 

All three hurricanes have forced the evacuations of tens of thousands of people – who were already dealing with the ongoing challenges of the COVID pandemic. 

How are Feeding America and local food banks responding?

Feeding America is working with food banks in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Texas and Arkansas to mobilize our disaster response to ensure people impacted by all three hurricanes have the food and resources they need.

Before the storm Hurricane Delta, Feeding America deployed 10 truckloads of water to the area, which was delivered over the weekend to communities impacted by the storm. In addition, three truckloads of disaster boxes are en route to Baton Rouge and will be distributed by food banks in the hardest hit areas. Food banks in the area, including the Food Bank of Central Louisiana and Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, have already begun disaster distributions and will continue in the coming days and weeks.  As the extent of damage and need becomes clearer in Alabama and Florida, Feeding America and local food banks will be providing meals and additional resources to support our neighbors impacted by the storm.

In the wake of all three storms, Feeding America is working closely with a network of national emergency response organizations such as the FEMA National Response Coordination Center, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, and the American Red Cross. Feeding America is also working with member food banks and local emergency officials.

Hurricanes Delta, Sally and Laura are just the most recent in weeks of natural disasters devastating communities across the country. In Northern California, food banks have been working together to support wildfire evacuees. And, food banks in the Midwest are helping their communities recover from the derecho that spawned tornadoes, hail storms and destructive winds of up to 100 MPH. Whatever the disaster, Feeding America and food banks nationwide will continue to work together to ensure people get the food and supplies they need for the long road to recovery ahead.

How can I help?
  • Donate to Feeding America's Disaster Response Fund. While our neighbors along the Gulf Coast were already dealing with a challenging time, Hurricanes Delta, Sally and Laura have further upended the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Ensure local food banks can respond in the wake of the storm by supporting Feeding America's disaster response fund.

  • Donate to food banks in the impacted area. Donating funds is the most efficient way to support affected food banks as they respond to the need after a disaster. From purchasing extra food to putting gas in trucks, a monetary donation goes a long way at the local level. Find local food banks and make a donation.
  • Follow affected food banks on social media. Local food banks will know what they need most to respond in their community. Whether that’s food, funds or volunteers – watch their social channels to learn the best way to make a local impact.
  • Learn more about Feeding America’s disaster response efforts. Feeding America and local food banks are on the ground before, during and after a disaster, ensuring those impacted have food and hope during the toughest of times. Learn more about our national response.