What is the role of Second Harvest and other food banks during a crisis such as Hurricane Sandy?
Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County is one of more than 200 food banks and 61,000 food pantries, emergency shelters and soup kitchens in the Feeding America network that are able to reach into disaster affected communities with basic supplies such as food and water.
Thousands of pounds of supplies were stationed near the anticipated disaster zone to ensure that those affected by the storm would have immediate access to food and water, including significant quantities at the Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside. These provisions can be quickly transported to food banks throughout the region as needed.
“It is our responsibility to ensure preparedness for disaster response and relief, so that we can move food to affected areas as quickly as possible—and stay as long as our help is needed,” said Matt Knott, interim president and CEO of Feeding America. “We are there to offer support long after these disasters disappear from the headlines.”
Feeding America has trained approximately 80 designated staff throughout the Food Bank Network to serve on support teams in the event of a large-scale disaster. In addition, Feeding America provides specialized disaster training for its food banks around the country, ensuring a prepared network and seamless disaster response.
In 2005, Feeding America formalized its commitment to providing aid during times of disaster, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Today, as a member of the National Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster (NVOAD), Feeding America is often among the first responders called upon to assist with relief and recovery during a national emergency.
Feeding America (then named America’s Second Harvest) provided more than 83 million pounds of supplies to Louisiana and other Gulf States during the months-long recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
When the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake occurred, Second Harvest received as much food in two weeks as it normally did in a year. In fact, it was this enormous relief effort that caused the food bank to double its size. The community contributed half a million dollars in disaster relief donations, which enabled us to provide food assistance to impacted families over the next 18 months so they could get back on their feet.
One of the best things you can do is to be prepared! The following resources are available to help you prepare a plan of action so that you can be ready when a disaster strikes.
- Download a disaster preparedness plan that you can personalize for your family. (English /Spanish)
- Review an emergency kit checklist that you can assemble. (English / Spanish )
- Learn tips that can keep your family safe in an emergency.
If you would like to make monetary donations to the areas affected so they can provide food during this disaster please visit one of the links below.
Long Island Cares
Food Bank for New York City
Community Food Bank of New Jersey
The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Inc.
Connecticut Food Bank