The Salvation Army teamed up with Walmart in New Orleans today to bring relief to more than 2,000 people over two days. Anyone in need of a hot meal and a case of water could come to the drive-thru operation set up in Walmart parking lots. 2,200 cases of water were provided by Walmart and 1,500 meals were provided by The Salvation Army.
“We are always grateful when Walmart comes alongside The Salvation Army to help meet needs in our communities,” said Ed Binnix, Incident Commander for New Orleans Response Team. “Throughout the year Walmart helps The Salvation Army during Christmas, and back to school events, among other things. We were grateful for the opportunity to feed and hydrate these communities with them.” Walmart provided water and additional volunteers to help facilitate loading the water into vehicles and handing out meals. The Salvation Army will continue serving meals at the 4301 Chef Menteur location at 10 AM today.
Commissioners Ken & Jolene Hodder, National Leaders of The Salvation Army will be visiting the Walmart location today at 4301 Chef Menteur Hwy and command post operations in New Orleans on Wednesday, accompanied by Commissioner Willis Howell.
The Salvation Army New Orleans IMT has provided 80,810 meals, 60,721 drinks, 21,320 snacks as of September 7, 2021. They have also distributed 1,069 hygiene kits and 94 clean-up kits. The Incident Command Team in New Orleans continues to evaluate and identify areas needing food, hydration, and emotional care.
The Salvation Army Texas Incident Management Team has maintained a robust ongoing feeding operation in communities without power, with increasing focus on the southern Bayou communities in Louisiana. A distribution site providing food boxes, water, clean up kits, and other practical assistance, will open from Thursday-Saturday this week, in Bourg, serving southern areas of Terrebonne County.
“As our mobile feeding units continue to move into areas south of Houma, we’re seeing many communities that have not received much aid,” said Alvin Migues, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Director for Texas. “The Salvation Army has established a distribution point in Bourg at the request of the Terrebonne Parrish Sherriff’s Department. We look forward to serving the needs of these hard-hit underserved communities.”
The Salvation Army distribution site will be located at Southern Terrebonne High School, 3879 LA-24, Bourg, LA, 70343 and will be open Thursday-Saturday, September 9-11, from 9 AM-1 PM daily. A mobile feeding unit will be stationed at the High School. The following items will be available at the distribution:
- Clean up Kits
- Food Boxes
- Baby Supplies
- Water (Primo Purified Water 2.6 gallons)
- Hygiene Kits
- PepsiCo Breakfast Boxes
“The US Army will be supporting the distribution site, helping to unload product from our trucks, and distributing to those coming for assistance,” said Migues. “We are grateful for their practical support and assistance in arranging overnight accommodation at the Emergency Operations Center for our staff who will be supervising the operation.”
Commissioners Ken & Jolene Hodder, National Leaders of The Salvation Army will be visiting feeding sites and command post operations in Louisiana on Tuesday and Wednesday, accompanied by Commissioner Willis Howell, Southern Territorial Commander, and Majors Kent & Melody Davis, Divisional Commanders of the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division.
On Tuesday, mobile units will be serving in Hammond, Houma, Bourg, Golden Meadow, Gray, Lockport, Dulac, Albany, LaPlace, Chauvin, Bayou Blue, Cut Off, Larose, Napoleonville, Galliano, Monagut, and two Polaris ATV units will be roaming in the Gonzales area. Service addresses can be found at https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/aboutus/?IdaFacts. Feeding operations in Grand Isle will commence in conjunction with residents returning, at this anticipated to be Friday.
The mobile units from the Gonzales IMT have served 102,797 meals, 57,756 drinks, and 20,540 snacks. The Salvation Army has served 177,549 meals, 117,961 drinks, and 45,658 snacks, making 6,449 emotional and spiritual care contacts across the state in response to Hurricane Ida.
Thrift Store employees from Morgan City and Thibodaux, themselves impacted by Hurricane Ida, are serving neighboring communities while their stores are temporarily closed. The employees have joined a mobile kitchen crew providing hot meals, water, and emotional and spiritual care in Houma since Thursday.
Joan, Kateri, and Marva worked alongside the disaster team from Granbury on Sunday and helped serve more than 500 meals, despite an afternoon rainstorm. “I enjoy working at the Thrift Store and seeing the satisfaction on a customer’s face when I’m able to help them. I also love Christmas at The Salvation Army. I’m the queen of bell ringing!” said Marva. “But serving food from the mobile kitchen was a completely new experience for me. People were so happy to receive a meal. It felt really good to be part of helping everyone.”
Marva and her daughter Kateri decided not to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Ida making landfall. “We woke up on Sunday morning and quickly changed our minds,” said Kateri. “The weather was already bad, and the wind was getting stronger, so we made the last-minute decision to leave. I drove as fast I could to Sunset, LA. It was the day of the storm and luckily most people had already left so there wasn’t’ much traffic.”
Joan lives in a trailer in Thibodaux and stayed through the storm, taking cover at a friend’s house a few blocks away. “I was pretty lucky. My house is fine but we’ve been out of power since Sunday,” said Joan. “This is my first time helping The Salvation Army with disaster work. I’m kind of speechless, it’s all so overwhelming. We get people coming to the store all the time asking for help, but this is something completely different. To see peoples’ faces when they get a hot meal is reward enough for what we’re doing.”
The ladies have worked in The Salvation Army stores for a combined 14 years. “I didn’t know the Army helped people to this extent and how big our disaster work is,” said Kateri.” It makes me proud to work for the organization and feel good that I’m part of something bigger than just our store.”
It is unclear when the Thrift Stores will re-open, although power has been restored to the Morgan City store. “We’re already receiving donations again, but I know that’s going to have to wait,” said Marva. “Even though disaster work is not our normal job, we’re just happy to be helping. Right now, we’re all part of Doing The Most Good, and then some!”
On Monday, mobile units will be serving in Hammond, Houma (2 units), Bourg, Gray, Lockport, Dulac, Albany, LaPlace, Bayou DuLarge, Bayou Blue, Cut Off, Larose, Napoleonville, Galliano, and Chauvin, and two Polaris ATV units will be roaming in the Gonzales area. Service addresses can be found at https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/aboutus/?IdaFacts
The mobile units from the Gonzales IMT have served 87,061 meals, 51,572 drinks, and 17,761 snacks. The Salvation Army has served 144,456 meals, 99,962 drinks, and 35,387 snacks, making 6,169 emotional and spiritual care contacts across the state in response to Hurricane Ida.
Those with disabilities, the elderly, and underserved populations are left helpless in the wake of Hurricane Ida. The Salvation Army is aiming to bring relief by delivering meals right to their doorstep by sending mobile kitchens into the pockets of neighborhoods that lack access to basic needs such as food and hydration.
The Salvation Army is responding to Hurricane Ida, providing food, drinks, emotional and spiritual care and other emergency services to survivors. 38 mobile feeding units have been active in Southeastern Louisiana by providing 140,973 meals, 98,076 drinks and 34,401 snacks to areas impacted by the storm. The Greater New Orleans response team has been aiming to identify the areas most in need and bring food and water directly to doorsteps. Nearly half of it’s mobile feeding units have been going up and down neighborhoods streets delivering meals.
“Half a million are still without power and it’s going to be weeks before some areas are back online,” said Ed Binnix, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army Greater New Orleans. “We’ve got teams identifying areas most in need. We are reviewing requests online, and we are listening to our mobile kitchen crews. We are really keeping our ear to the ground to help get food and hydration to those that need it.”
The Salvation Army is finding that those with disabilities, the elderly and underserved populations can’t gain access to basic needs. “My brother has Parkinson’s and he’s been trying to get out and walk, but for today he can just chill and relax,” said Clare Metcalf, a resident in the Westbank area. “We were very excited to see you.”
The Salvation Army will continue to provide hot meals by roaming neighborhoods and fixed feeding locations. 141 Cleaning Supplies, 2148 Comfort / Hygiene Kits, 133 cases of water have also been supplied.
Emotional & Spiritual Care (ESC) is an integral part of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services. The opportunity to listen to, encourage, and pray with a storm survivor is an important aspect of our service and one of the areas that differentiates The Salvation Army from other organizations active in disaster.
ESC teams are made up of Salvation Army officers, employees, and volunteers who are specially trained to provide effective emotional and spiritual care to meet the disaster-related needs of disaster responders and affected families and individuals. Captain Jeremiah Romack, Senior Kroc Center Officer from Kerrville, is the assigned ESC Officer for the Gonzales Incident Management Team (IMT).
“My primary responsibility is to provide support to the IMT staff and all volunteers during Hurricane Ida response. The work our teams do is stressful, and the days are long, very hot, and draining,” said Romack. “That can really weigh down on a person after serving for multiple days on the front lines of disaster ministry. My job as an ESC Officer is to check in with everyone, be available to listen and pray, and make sure that all are doing well, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually too.”
Captain Romack has served as an ESC Officer during two other Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services operations: in El Paso during the visit of Pope Francis’ to Juarez in 2017, and during a response to wildfires in West Texas.
“I work closely with the Incident Commander and other IMT staff. These are the folks running the entire operation, making crucial decisions related to the response effort, and managing the team of volunteers,” said Romack. “There are lots of moving parts to any response effort and I want to be available for people to talk to, or pray with, as they feel the need.”
Each morning, Captain Romack shares a devotional thought with the 51-member command post team during the morning briefing. “My goal is to encourage staff and volunteers and remind them that we are the hands and feet of Jesus to those we encounter during the day. We don’t necessarily need to preach but can show the love of Christ through our work and actions,” said Romack. “As I work to encourage and challenge the team, my prayer is that they will be empowered to minister to others. Our team has made 4,323 emotional and spiritual care contacts since Tuesday, August 31”
Ten additional specially trained ESC Officers will arrive from the Potomac and North & South Carolina Divisions by September 8. They will go out each day as part of the mobile feeding unit team, with the sole responsibility to talk with, listen to, and pray with storm survivors.
On Sunday, after a short worship service in the command post, mobile units will be serving in Hammond (2 units), Houma (2 units), Larose, Cut Off, Lockport, Dulac, Gray, Bayou Blue, LaPlace, Bayou DuLarge, Livingston Parrish, Mt. Herman, Chauvin, and Napoleonville and two Polaris ATV units will be roaming in the Gonzales area.
The mobile units from the Gonzales IMT have served 70,506 meals, 45,974 drinks, and 17,047 snacks. The Salvation Army has served 115,738 meals, 84,548 drinks, and 31,634 snacks, across the state in response to Hurricane Ida.
The Salvation Army nears 30,000 meals served to those in need in the Greater New Orleans area. 19 canteens (mobile feeding units) depart daily from The Salvation Army’s temporary disaster warehouse in New Orleans loaded with hot meals, MRE’s, water, and snacks. The Salvation Army continues to identify and optimize their routes and locations based on the need in local communities.
“I didn’t think it was going to be what it was,” said Ken Stroughtor, a resident near downtown New Orleans. “Even if I wanted to evacuate I couldn’t, it came so fast.” Ken echo’s what many New Orleanians are saying, that their time was short, and a decision had to be made. Stay or leave now! “I’m so grateful that The Salvation Army made it out here. I knew when I saw the truck, we were going to be okay, at least we’ll have a full belly.”
“As the need grows, we will shift in what we offer just to make sure were doing all we can to meet as much need as we can in Jesus’ name,” said Commissioner Willis Howell, leader for The Salvation Army in the Southern Territory. Commissioner Howell shook the hand of Ken Stroughtor and listened as Ken shared his experience surviving Ida. “What a privilege that we have to serve,” the commissioner concluded. He and his wife Barbara served throughout the day while providing emotional care and prayers for those that waited in the feeding line.
The Emergency Disaster Team arrived in New Orleans late Monday night and has been serving from sunup to sundown every day sending 19 mobile feeding units into local neighborhoods.
- 88113 Meals
- 64438 Drinks
- 28780 Snacks
- 39 Active Mobile Feeding Units
- 101 Cleaning Supplies / Tools (per order)
- 1591 Comfort / Hygiene Kits (per kit)
- 133 Water (per case)
- 144 Disaster Workers have given 7032 hours of service
- Emotional and Spiritual Care to 3443 people
Staff and volunteers deployed to the Texas Incident Command Post in Gonzales, LA, are providing practical, and emotional and spiritual support to their neighbors in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida. A fleet of mobile units, consisting of 11 Texas units and 7 from Arkansas Oklahoma, are delivering hot meals, water, and MREs into impacted communities.
“We are expanding our reach and meal service from the Gonzales Command Post and continue to discover communities in need and struggling without power after Hurricane Ida,” said Alvin Migues, Emergency Disaster Services Director from The Salvation Army, Texas Division. “Our team is returning each day with wonderful stories of resilience from storm survivors and how communities are coming together to support each other through this disaster. The Salvation Army is privileged to play a part in this recovery, and the hot meals served from our units have been greatly appreciated.”
The mobile unit from Lewisville visited Albany, LA, on Thursday, serving lunch from a church parking lot. Cars quickly filed in, and a line of people formed, anxious to receive a hot meal. Edie and Nicole have been neighbors for about six months and drove to the church together to conserve gas. “We’ve been looking out for each other since the storm came through,” said Edie. “We lost power but were pretty lucky that we didn’t have too much damage. There’s some trees and power lines down on our street but we’re doing ok considering.”
The Lewisville unit served 750 hamburgers, with beans, and chips, and distributed MREs and water in Albany. “We heard that The Salvation Army was serving food down here,” said Nicole. “We’ve got a generator so have some power, but all our food spoiled so quickly. You all are such a blessing, and we appreciate you being out here.” The Mayor of Albany also paid a visit to the feeding site to personally thank The Salvation Army volunteers for their service to the community.
Teams continue to reach into some of the hardest hit communities, particularly in the southern area of the state, with large areas of the state without power. The mobile units from the Gonzales IMT have served 37,003 meals, 26,599 drinks, and 10,914 snacks. Emotional and spiritual care is an integral part of Salvation Army disaster service and staff and volunteers have prayed with 2,348 people.
Service continues in the following communities on Friday, September 3: Hammond (2 units), Houma (3 units), Raceland, Livingston Parrish, La Place, Bayou Dularge, Bayou Blue, Cut Off, Larose, Napoloenville (2 units), Chauvin, and Sorrento.
The PepsiCo Foundation, a long-time partner of The Salvation Army, has pledged their practical support of the ongoing Hurricane Ida relief efforts in Louisiana. Response is taking place throughout the state based out of Incident Command Posts in Gonzales and New Orleans.
The PepsiCo Foundation will provide $150,000 of in-kind donation in shelf stable meals through the Food for Good program in addition to a $100,000 grant to support additional food deliveries working closely with The Salvation Army Texas Emergency Disaster Services team.
“While first responders and relief agencies are still assessing the damage of Hurricane Ida, we know that citizens need relief now,” said Jon Banner, Executive Vice President, Global Communications and President of The PepsiCo Foundation. “That’s why we’re working with dedicated partners like The Salvation Army to deliver meals and emergency relief. These communities need our support as they face the immediate impacts of the storm and recover in its wake.”
PepsiCo’s Food for Good operation is donating nutritious, pre-packed, non-perishable meals to complement the hot meals The Salvation Army is serving through 38 mobile feeding units deployed in affected communities throughout Louisiana.
“Partners like PepsiCo enable us to respond quickly with the food, water, and emergency relief that disaster survivors need most in urgent crises like this one,” said Alvin Migues, Emergency Services Director at the Salvation Army. “We’re grateful to work together to ensure we are providing these services to the survivors of Hurricane Ida as quickly as possible.”
The Salvation Army continues to meet immediate needs through the delivery of hot meals, MREs, water, and emotional and spiritual care, as many locations remain without power in Louisiana.
The Walmart Foundation bestowed an exceptionally generous gift to The Salvation Army, leading the way in the mission to reach survivors of Hurricane Ida, particularly in Southern Louisiana. Through the help of a gift of $750,000 from the Walmart Foundation, The Salvation Army will be further quipped to tackle the daunting task of providing meals to hundreds of thousands of individuals displaced and impacted by Hurricane Ida.
“Walmart stands with all those affected by Hurricane Ida, and we are working closely with partners to provide much needed items like water and food to impacted communities,” said Julie Gehrki, vice president of philanthropy at Walmart. “We are grateful for partners like The Salvation Army, which is positioned to quickly to provide essential, life-sustaining support for communities.”
“The Salvation Army will continue to meet needs wherever they exist,” said Major Mark Harwell, territorial community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. “We could not do what we do without the generosity of partners, like the Walmart Foundation, who go above and beyond to support The Salvation Army.”
Survivors of Hurricane Ida continue to face extreme temperatures, the absence of electricity, and limited potable water in the region. The Salvation Army endeavors to bring comfort, safety and supplies to the local community while fulfilling its mission to meet human need without discrimination.
The best way to support the disaster work of The Salvation Army is by making a financial donation at helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
Salvation Army mobile kitchens from Texas deployed into impacted areas of Louisiana on Tuesday, delivering close to 9,000 meals to individuals and families struggling after Hurricane Ida. Many communities remain without power, with storm debris and isolated flooding causing additional challenges.
The Incident Command Post in Gonzales, LA, was fully functional early on Tuesday morning, and the ongoing collaboration with the Southern Baptist Convention Texas Field Kitchen saw food being prepared and loaded onto waiting Salvation Army mobile units by mid-morning. Units each received their assignments, driving for the first time into communities in the southern region of the state with several traveling more than an hour to specified locations.
“The first day of disaster operations is always something of a challenge,” said Alvin Migues, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “There are so many moving parts to an operation of this scale and there remains a number of significant unknowns. We have crews driving on roads that may be flooded in places, blocked with trees and down power lines, and pulling into communities for the first time. As well as service delivery we continue on something of a fact-finding mission. I am so proud of our Salvation Army staff and volunteers who have worked around the clock to get this command post operational and are already delivering practical assistance to those in need.”
Close to 9,000 meals were served on Tuesday, in more than 10 cities. In several locations, the arrival of The Salvation Army mobile units was met with long lines of traffic with residents eager to receive their first hot meal since Hurricane Ida moved through Louisiana, leaving so many without power. “God bless you for being here and helping us,” said a grateful resident of Hammond, LA, who had patiently waited in the drive through line to receive 5 meals for their family. “We heard The Salvation Army would be coming today and you all are a real blessing. Thank you!”
On Wednesday, mobile units will be serving in Hammond (2 units), Houma (2 units), Thibodaux (2 units), Kenner (2 units), Livingston Parrish (2 units), Baton Rouge, La Place, Napoleonville (2 units), Gonzales, and two units will be roaming in affected communities.
Seven additional units arrived at the Incident Command Post from the Oklahoma Arkansas Division on Tuesday evening and will further expand the reach and capacity of assistance in the coming days. Salvation Army operations are also in place in other impacted areas of the state including New Orleans and the Gulfport region.
“We anticipate ramping up service to close to 20,000 meals a day. Our team continues to assess the specific needs of communities impacted by Hurricane Ida,” said Migues. “We’re off to a tremendous start and our staff and dedicated volunteers are focused and prepared to deliver meals, water, and a word of encouragement and a prayer to those we encounter.”
The Salvation Army is using two ATVs and ten generators donated by the Polaris Corporation in support of Hurricane Ida response efforts in Louisiana. This equipment has already significantly enhanced the response effort and the effectiveness of the Incident Command Post.
Most of the area around the Incident Command Post, located in Gonzales, LA, is without power after Hurricane Ida moved through the area on Sunday, damaging much of the power grid. The Salvation Army Incident Command Team consists of more than 30 staff members and volunteers in addition to 11 mobile kitchens, a shower unit, bunk trailers, a command post, and more. Each of these units requires power to function.
“Setting up and getting any incident command post operational during a disaster is a logistical challenge at the best of times, never mind working without power,” said Alvin Migues, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “We are using the donated Polaris generators to power just about everything on site from our command post, shower unit, bunkhouses, radios, computers, and kitchen. Even the simplest of tasks would be significantly more difficult without power this week, and so we are very thankful for the gift of electricity and the generators from Polaris.”
Any response effort after a hurricane or tornado requires access to roads and neighborhoods that have experienced physical damage. The Texas IMT is currently deploying 18 mobile feeding units each day to impacted cities throughout southern Louisiana, delivering hot food and cold water to affected residents. This regularly means encountering down power lines and trees, storm debris blocking access, and damaged vehicles.
“Our full-size mobile kitchens and even our Rapid Response Units can sometimes find it impossible to get into affected neighborhoods,” said Migues. “This is where the Polaris ATVs are beneficial. We can deliver food and water to individuals and families that otherwise would be cut off until roads are cleared, which can sometimes take several days.”
On Wednesday afternoon, the Polaris ATVs deployed for the first time. They delivered hot meals to homes without power in a neighborhood close to the Incident Command Post where power lines and trees obstructed the roads. Disaster volunteers delivered meals and water to several families who said that this assistance from The Salvation Army was the first help they had received since the storm passed.
“Corporate and community partnerships are key to any successful disaster response effort,” said Migues. “The Salvation Army is grateful for generous partners, like Polaris, who come alongside us with very practical support that makes a difference in the lives of those we serve.”