Hurricane Idalia strikes Florida coast: How food banks and Feeding America are responding

Hurricane response
August 29, 2023
by Paul Morello

What’s Happening?

Hurricane Idalia made landfall in the Big Bend region of Florida on Wednesday, August 30 as a category 3 storm, with winds forecast to reach 125 mph. The National Weather Service in Tallahassee is calling the storm an "unprecedented event." Idalia brought high storm surge with flooding in some areas along the Gulf Coast, as well as intense wind. As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 275,000 customers were without power in Florida, with an additional 123,000 households out in Georgia.

What are food banks and Feeding America doing?

As food banks in the impacted areas reopen, they will begin working with local partners to assess needs specific to their communities, with emergency food distributions beginning in a matter of days. This quick response is possible because Florida food banks have already staged 45 truckloads of shelf-stable meals and 15 truckloads of bottled water to support shelters in impacted communities. Meanwhile, Feeding America has staged 12 truckloads of disaster boxes which are available to arrive within 2 days of landfall, and 15 truckloads of water are also staged across the Southeast United States for quick delivery.

What can I do to help?

  • Donate to Feeding America's disaster response fund. Hurricane Idalia is one of the most destructive storms to impact the Big Bend region, upending the lives of many, including our neighbors facing hunger. Help ensure everyone has access to food, water and disaster supplies immediately after the hurricane, and long after the storm has passed.
  • Follow affected food banks on social media. Local food banks will know what they need most to respond to 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.