Hurricane Michael food bank
Hurricane Michael food bank

Food bank helps those in the path of Hurricane Michael

While Hurricane Michael is terrorizing the southeast United States, local residents and government agency employees are preparing to mobilize with resources to help those in the path of devastation.

In coastal regions, 375,000 Floridians were placed under voluntary or mandatory evacuation, before Hurricane Michael’s approach. The livelihood of these residents, some of whom may have stayed and other residents within and outside of Florida, depends upon the help they receive in the next couple of days.

Experience has taught Joshua Roark, Midwest Food Bank operations manager, that responding early is paramount.

“Once we knew it was gonna make landfall, we knew we would have to start putting word out and get donations in,” Roark said. “The footage I’ve seen already from this hurricane is unbelievable — it looks like a bomb went off there.”

Roark has a couple of items he likes to distribute to people affected by these natural disasters. The items include foods, blankets, pillows, toiletries and more. The goal is to provide these desperate people, displaced from Hurricane Michael, with things that can help sustain their families for a couple of days.

“People are really grateful,” Roark said. “A lot of people will cry, get very emotional. We get a lot of hugs.”

Laura Todd, a donor, has experienced the desperation that follows a powerful hurricane. Todd received help after Hurricane Irma barreled into southwest Florida last year. It motivated her to contribute.

Hurricane Irma also motivated Deb Dahlky to contribute. She points out a variety of goods that will be donated to those affected by the hurricane, spaced out in different sections in a large warehouse.

“Right over here, some cleaning supplies,” Dahlky said. “We’ve got a couple of mops, a broom over here, a sponge over here.”

Hurricane Irma was a powerful storm, affecting the lives of millions as power went out and substantial flooding prevented movement. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimate that Hurricane Irma caused $50 billion in damages.

Having survived Hurricane Irma, Dahlky feels she can apply what she learned for victims of the current natural disaster. It will come in handy as the Category 4 hurricane made landfall on Wednesday. It hit Mexico Beach in the Gulf Coast. The area has turned into an apocalyptic mess.

Dahlky believes her contributions show support that will help victims feel like they matter.

“It shows that they’re going through a tough time right now, but that there’s people out there who care about them,” Dahlky said, “who care what they’re going through, who want to be a part of the solution to help them.”

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Michael Mora
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