Hurricane Sally left significant devastation in her path, and our Gulf Coast communities are picking up the pieces. As families are already struggling with the economic pressures resulting from COVID-19, Hurricane Sally has added to their burdens with costly home repairs and destroyed food supplies.
“Along the Central Gulf Coast, one in five individuals struggles with food insecurity. That includes one in three children,” says Michael Ledger, President and CEO of Feeding the Gulf Coast. “The destruction of Hurricane Sally in combination with the COVID-19 pandemic impact has significantly exacerbated the issue of hunger specifically in our Gulf Coast region. Our hearts are broken for our community, but we know that our Gulf Coast communities are strong and resilient. We are here to help relieve some of the burdens created by this storm.”
Despite some initial setbacks with power at both of our warehouses, Feeding the Gulf Coast has resumed operations. Thankfully, power has now been restored to both our Milton and Theodore facilities. As of Thursday, we have trucks back on the road bringing essential food into communities that need assistance.
The food bank will continue to work with partners in the community, including Feeding America and our agencies to implement plans to best serve those impacted by Sally’s destruction. We are assessing the areas of greatest concern and will work to be strategic about the placement of emergency food and water in these areas. While we are focusing on areas impacted by the storm, please know that maintaining service throughout all 24 counties remains a critical priority for our organization, as we continue to respond to the ongoing needs resulting from COVID-19.
For individuals and families experiencing hunger, we encourage them to use the “Find Help” feature available on our website at www.feedingthegulfcoast.org. Individuals can also call our office at (888) 704-FOOD and our staff can help connect those seeking assistance with distribution partners closest to them. During this time of uncertainty and crisis, Feeding the Gulf Coast remains dedicated to serving the community. Working with community partners, the food bank will continue to be an organization of hope and support for families facing hunger.
As we work to meet the heightened demand for emergency food and supplies in our community, support will be vital for our ability to respond quickly and decisively to address the damages caused by Hurricane Sally throughout our service area. For those wishing to support our efforts, donations can be made on our website at www.feedingthegulfcoast.org. We also know volunteer support will be critical to our efforts in the coming days.