Hurricane Ike Relief Update

September 16, 2008 § 2 Comments

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, 67,000 pounds of food & supplies and $180,000 has been donated by the public. When we sent out an emergency call for help to the community, you responded in a big way. Thank you for acting so quickly!

Today’s relief efforts started at 5 a.m. as staff went live from our warehouse with local stations News 8 Austin, and FOX 7. Volunteers helped throughout the morning to prepare hundreds of emergency food packages for today’s distribution at the Food Bank and to send to Partner Agencies. As volunteers and staff prepared for the noon distribution, a line of cars formed through our parking lot all the way to William Cannon and I-35. Commander Calvin Smith of the SE Area Command sent an officer to assist with traffic as we begin serving evacuees.

Thanks to the many donations on our website and at the Food Bank, about 2,500 food packages have been distributed so far, and we were able to quickly purchase additional food with the money donated over the past few days for our upcoming distributions.

Special thanks to Whole Foods Southwest Distribution for donating a tractor trailer load of water (40,920 lbs). Whole Foods volunteered to continue collecting food at their downtown store since last week’s HAM-up Grill up. Just look for the blue barrel in the front of the store.

Supporting our Sister Food Banks
In addition to supporting evacuees in Austin, the Food Bank answered the Brazos Valley Food Bank’s call for assistance. We sent almost 17,000 pounds of emergency items yesterday.

Miguel Barthe, a Katrina evacuee from New Orleans, and Food Bank driver, volunteered to support the New Orleans Food Bank for the upcoming week. Miguel, who has not been back to New Orleans since the Katrina evacuation three years ago, looks forward to reuniting with his hometown. “I wanted to help New Orleans, just like Austin helped me,” he said, “and it will be good to see my family too.”

Food Drive at H-E-B Wednesday
On Wednesday September 17, H-E-B on Parmer Lane at IH-35 will host a food drive from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please donate our most-needed items as well as financial donations. Blue Whale Moving and Storage company is helping transport donated items to the Food Bank, saving us fuel and transportation costs.

Learn more and donate at austinfoodbank.org.
Visit our “I want to help” page on austinfoodbank.org to get the latest information on most needed items, volunteer opportunities and how to donate.

If you know someone that needs help, please visit our “I need help” page, with the latest information on Emergency Food Stamps.

View the Hurricane Ike Relief photo album on flickr.com.

Thank you for your continued support!

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§ 2 Responses to Hurricane Ike Relief Update

  • Stacy says:

    I’m sure people are getting help to everyone as fast as possible but it’s not fast enough. I live in one of the mandatory evacuation areas and there just so many people in Baytown and other cities who still have no power, water, etc. There are a couple of trailors set up with food and ice but the lines are sooooooooooo long. Each time the sun goes down the people are getting more and more desperate and beginning to panic. Please get the power on there ASAP. There is no gas and only a couple of stores are open. I just got to Memphis and was finally to get online to see if help is on the way. There is not even one headline about the crisis on AOL’s main page! And I can’t even find any of it on the news channels here! It makes me sick to my stomach. My whole family is there and alot of other good people who are trying to be patient but there patients are running out!

  • Stacy –

    I moved up to Austin in March of this year. Prior to that I lived for 34 years in the Houston area. Its hurts me deeply to hear many stories like yours from my former neighbors. For a city that gave so much of its heart and soul to those seeking help after Katrina I cannot help but share your sadness. I know its difficult right now but it seems that the best we can do is hold on a little longer. Here is some information from the city of Baytown’s website:

    http://tinyurl.com/3g9dog

    -Approximately 60% of the city is still without power.

    -CenterPoint’s priorities include essential government services such as public safety, wastewater, utilities, traffic control, hospitals, and other critical services.

    -Commercial facilities (stores and gas stations) are the next priority and residential areas are addressed based on the severity of damage. The least damaged areas that can quickly be restored will be addressed next.

    -We are in daily briefings with CenterPoint and elected officials to ensure they know our needs and have our list of priorities. Several city facilities are still without power.

    -The CenterPoint site (www.centerpointenergy.com/staticfiles/home.html) shows current outages.

    Houstonians are a proud and caring group. On top of that they are a tough and hearty bunch. Hang in there this soon will pass. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers and wish you the best during this difficult time.

    David Davenport
    President & CEO
    Capital Area Food Bank

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