All Faiths Food Bank Poised for Disaster Response

The Giving Coast

Pictured: An All Faiths Food Bank truck is loaded with snacks for school shelters. Photo courtesy of All Faiths Food Bank.

When Hurricane Ian makes landfall, All Faiths Food Bank will be on the ground and ready to provide food and water to shelters, disaster relief organizations, and storm victims in our community. As one of the lead emergency response organizations in Sarasota and DeSoto counties and the State of Florida, All Faiths is prepared for immediate activation. All Faiths Food Bank has already initiated the movement of product – such as ready-to-eat meals for shelters and agencies, snacks, and many pallets of water – bound for shelters throughout Sarasota County. Six agencies are designated as emergency food partners: in Sarasota County, they are Harvest Food Pantry, Faith to Faeth, Englewood UMC and Trinity Presbyterian; in DeSoto County, they are the All Faiths Food Bank DeSoto Food and Resource Center and Arcadia Trinity UMC. All Faiths distributed generators to those locations today (September 27) and these agencies will be open after the storm passes to distribute food. Community members need to contact the agency or the All Faiths’ website to find out when they open after the storm. These locations are open to the public. All Faiths is distributing water to 14 shelters at this time. Additionally, 4,000 backpacks were distributed through 10 schools that have a high percentage of students on free and reduced meals and that already had backpacks in stock. Volunteers at All Faiths packed additional backpacks the morning of September 27; the food bank will replenish school supplies as soon as schools reopen. Four members of the food bank’s emergency response team will remain at the organization’s headquarters through the storm and two will be located at the Sarasota Emergency Operations Center. When roads are cleared, AFFB drivers will be delivering water and food. Eight members of Sarasota’s Tactical First In Teams (TFIT), who are responsible for clearing roads to make it safe for first responders – like All Faiths – to navigate the roads, are sheltering at the food bank’s headquarters.

Post-hurricane, All Faiths will assess the disaster relief capability and needs of its 200 partner agencies and programs and continue distribution of additional food items from its warehouse on Fruitville Road. All Faiths Food Bank also works with Feeding Florida and sister food banks around the state to coordinate recovery efforts, stage product and transport food to Florida communities affected by the storm. Depending on the magnitude and location of the damage, All Faiths’ fleet of trucks carrying food may be deployed to other food banks in Florida. The national organization, Feeding America, will coordinate resources from around the nation to help sustain relief efforts. For the safety of its staff and our neighbors, All Faiths Food Bank will close from noon today through Thursday, September 29. When roads are clear, the food bank plans to immediately begin distribution of food and water on Friday morning, September 30.

Pictured: An All Faiths Food Bank truck is loaded with snacks for school shelters. Photo courtesy of All Faiths Food Bank.

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