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Grateful Communities Receive Meals from The Salvation 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.”

Donated Polaris ATVs and Generators Used to Support Hurricane Ida Response Effort

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.”

Salvation Army Serving Thousands of Meals Today in New Orleans Area

NEW ORLEANS, LA (September 1, 2021) – The Salvation Army has 15 mobile feeding units ready to distribute 17,500 meals to hardest hit areas left in Ida’s wake. The Emergency Operations Center has helped The Salvation Army identify areas most in need. Eight locations have been identified and will be receiving meals for lunch and dinner.

“Our disaster workers got in late last night and we are preparing to serve lunch and dinner today to anyone in need,” said Major Ed Binnix, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services. “We are working with state and local officials to help coordinate and execute this as efficiently as possible. Get food and water to those people quickly.”

The following locations are being served for today. The Salvation Army is serving hot meals for lunch and dinner. Helping provide food and hydration to those still in need. The additional mobile feeding units will be roving helping to identify locations in need.

LUNCH LOCATIONS (12-2 PM):

  • Treme Recreation Center (900 N. Villere St)
  • Gernon Brown Recreation Center (1001 Harrison Ave)
  • Milne Recreation Center (5420 Franklin Ave)
  • Stallings St. Claude Recreation Center (4300 St. Claude)
  • John P. Lyons Recreation Center (624 Louisiana Ave)
  • Rosenwald Recreation Center ( 1120 S. Broad Ave.)

DINNER LOCATIONS (4-6 PM):

  • Joe W. Brown Recreation Center (5601 Read Blvd)
  • Cut Off Recreation Center (6600 Belgrade St.)

For more information on The Salvation Army’s continued response, visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. To make a financial gift to support Hurricane Ida relief:

  • Visit helpsalvationarmy.org
  • Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
  • Text GIVE to 52000 to donate $10 automatically through your cell phone bill

International Students Volunteer with The Salvation Army in Hammond, LA

Word spread quickly in Hammond, LA, that a group was serving food at Zemurray Park on Tuesday. A steady line of cars reaching around the block greeted The Salvation Army mobile kitchen from Pasadena, TX, as it pulled into the parking lot.

Alicia, Nuria, and Paula are international music students from Spain enrolled in the master’s program at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Alicia read on Instagram that lunch would be provided at the park, so the friends ventured out on their bicycles to see what they could find. They have been without power since Hurricane Ida moved through the area on Sunday evening.

The students have been in Louisiana for less than a month as classes started on August 9th. The news of an approaching hurricane was particularly frightening and daunting for the girls. “I was very afraid as we don’t have hurricanes in Spain,” said Nuria. “We put our clothes and belongings into bags and left our instruments in the music school as we didn’t want them to be damaged.”

Hurricane Ida caused loss of power in Hammond along with many other communities in the region. “The power went out about 6 PM on Sunday. We prepared for the worst and stayed in our apartment once the storm began,” said Alicia.

The girls were among the first people to greet Captain Dante Salgado and his crew once the mobile kitchen was in position. “We had just started to set up and they asked if there was anything they could do to help,” said Salgado. “In no time at all they were behind the serving table passing out hot dog plates and water to the line of cars. They took over the entire operation!”

After more than two hours serving grateful individuals and families from the community, the last plate was served. “We were very sad in our apartment this morning and came out today to find some help for ourselves,” said Nuria. “After meeting up with The Salvation Army team it was so nice to help other people in the same position as us, without power, and struggling.”

“We prepared for the storm as best we could. Other than losing power we are fine,” said Alicia. “It was good to get out of the apartment and I enjoyed helping today.”

The team served 1,748 meals in Hammond on Tuesday, enjoying great support from the community and local law enforcement. The Pasadena mobile kitchen will continue service in Hammond on Wednesday, while 10 additional units from Texas will work in other impacted communities. Seven additional units arrived on Tuesday evening from The Salvation Army in Oklahoma Arkansas to support response efforts.

Paula said, “I was feeling very homesick this morning, missing my family and my boyfriend. I like it here, but my English is not great, so sometimes it can be very difficult and discouraging. It was hot and hard work, but it felt good to help. There were so many people! I’m hoping we can come back and help The Salvation Army again tomorrow.”

 

 

Salvation Army Units From Across the Southeast Responding to Hurricane Ida

Jackson, MS (August 30, 2021) — Exactly sixteen years after Hurricane Katrina’s massive destruction, Hurricane Ida made landfall as a major hurricane in Louisiana on Sunday. With widespread power outages across the region, providing food, water, and other essential items to those in affected areas is crucial, and The Salvation Army is already helping in affected areas with more help on the way. Salvation Army disaster response units from locations throughout the Southeast are already en route to Louisiana to assist with relief efforts.

Salvation Army Emergency Incident Command Teams from Texas and Florida are joining with The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division Incident Command Team to serve across the affected areas of Louisiana. Canteens and crews are coming from all over the Southeast to assist. The Texas team arrived in Baton Rouge today. The ALM team will be arriving in New Orleans tomorrow, and the Florida team will be serving in the Southern Louisiana area.

“The Salvation Army stays prepared year-round to respond to disasters as they strike. We are often the first on the scene and the last to leave because these are our communities — where we live, work, and serve every day. We greatly appreciate the strong network of support available through our Salvation Army family throughout the country. They never hesitate to support us when extra help is needed for a large disaster event such as Hurricane Ida,” said William Trueblood, Salvation Army ALM Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Director.

To support Hurricane Ida relief efforts, please go to helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. The Salvation Army uses 100% of all disaster donations to support disaster relief.

For the latest information, please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/SalArmyALM/ and www.twitter.com/salarmyalm.

Salvation Army Prepared to Respond to Hurricane Ida Along the Gulf Coast

Jackson, Mississippi (August 29, 2021) – The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster (EDS) teams in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) are closely monitoring and preparing for response to Hurricane Ida, forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane along the Gulf Coast later today. Salvation Army EDS teams in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and several other southern states are mobilizing personnel and units in anticipation of immediate response.

“We are working with Salvation Army teams from Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Florida, and Georgia to support our relief efforts following the arrival Hurricane Ida across the affected areas,” said William Trueblood, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division. “We are looking at having three separate manned feeding sites providing food for more than thirty canteens which will serve multiple hard-hit areas throughout the region as needed. A Texas Incident Managemnet Team (IMAT) is pre-staging in Beaumont, TX, and a Florida IMAT team is prestaging in Pensacola. The ALM IMAT team is meeting in Jackson and heading into New Orleans after the storm passes. We are currenty planning to have the IMAT teams set up and serving from Gonzales, New Orleans, and Biloxi, but these locations are subject to change depending on the outcome of the storm’s path.”

The Salvation Army EDS staff and volunteers are constantly ready to respond, often with very little notice, to provide support and assistance during times of disaster.

To support Hurricane Ida relief efforts, please go to helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. The Salvation Army uses 100% of all disaster donations to support disaster relief.

For the latest information, please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/SalArmyALM/ and www.twitter.com/salarmyalm.