Salvation Army Field Kitchen Heads to Lake Charles for Hurricane Laura Relief

Jackson, MS (August 28, 2020) — Hurricane Laura made landfall near Lake Charles, Louisiana, as a category 4 hurricane early Thursday morning, pummelling the Lake Charles area and leaving a devasting path of destruction in its wake. State-wide there are approximately 500,000 without power and the public water system sustained so much damage that there’s currently no water, or restricted water service, in much of Southwest Louisiana.

Destin Smith, Total Transportation Internal Manager

Early Friday morning, The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi [ALM] Division’s 53′ field kitchen, along with a refrigeration unit and a support unit, headed out to Lake Charles to serve in Hurricane Laura relief efforts. The mobilization of the equipment was made possible through the generous volunteer efforts of Total Transportation, a Jackson, Mississippi trucking company. “Total Transportation is honored to support the work of The Salvation Army in this way. To be able to help out a good cause and people in need is something we are glad to be a part of,” said Destin Smith, Total Transportation’s Internal Manager.

The field kitchen has the capacity to prepare up to 10,000 meals per day, which will be distributed by 14 mobile feeding units deployed into the area from Mississippi, Texas, and other less affected Louisiana Salvation Army locations. It will serve the 4 parishes that are most affected by the hurricane— Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, and Cameron.

“Disaster preparations start well before the threat occurs so that The Salvation Army is ready to go into the affected community, alleviate the suffering that’s there, and provide hope,” said Terry Lightheart, Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division.

As natural disasters can increase mental stress, The Salvation Army’s Emotional & Spiritual Care HOPEline remains available. Anyone needing a caring listener – whether because of natural disaster, COVID-19, or the stress of life in general – can call 844-458-HOPE (4673) for support. HOPEline hours are 8 AM to 11 PM CDT, 7 days a week. For the latest emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army, follow the social feed on Twitter at @salarmyeds or visit To donate to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, visit

Partnership helps The Salvation Army in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi deploy needed resources to Florida following Irma

JACKSON, MS – When helping thousands in need following two major hurricanes, it is vital to have the support of community organizations and local businesses inside and outside the impacted area.

“Even as large as The Salvation Army is with its many officers, staff and volunteers, no one organization can do the job alone,” said Terry Lightheart, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division

The Florida Division of The Salvation Army made a request to the ALM Division for a 53′ field kitchen which can provide up to 10,000 meals during disaster relief operations. With so many Salvation Army assets deployed in Texas and Florida, the ALM Division found itself short on drivers and trucks to haul the needed resource. After a few phone calls, a local trucking company, Total Transportation, willingly filled the need.

“The Salvation Army has been blessed with so many partnerships before and during Harvey and Irma,” said Lightheart. “This company really stepped up when we needed them so we want to make sure we highlight their efforts.”

Total Transportation provided the driver and truck to haul the trailer.

“Total Transportation of MS, LLC is privileged to serve alongside the Salvation Army during a time of need after Hurricane Irma,” said John D. Stomps, President and CEO of Total Transportation of MS. “With 1300 employees representing our organization, over 125 of Total’s office staff and drivers live in the state of Florida.”

Stomps says The Salvation Army and Total Transportation play an important role in helping Florida’s recovery after Irma.

“During times of disaster, the Salvation Army is a guiding light to many people’s lives and Total Transportation of MS along with the trucking industry will be there to ensure those needs are met,” said Stomps.

Total’s driver delivering the field kitchen is Thomas Crysler who is a Florida native.