Gulfport, MS (November 15, 2012)—On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast. While the damage to the coast was catastrophic and overwhelming, what happened in the weeks and months to follow was even more amazing. Thousands of relief workers from all over the country flooded into Mississippi and Louisiana to provide aid to the storm ravaged communities. Police, National Guard troops, healthcare workers and numerous other specialty support personnel from other states deployed for weeks at a time to help those affected begin the recovery process.Mississippians were the beneficiaries of the largest deployment of disaster resources and responders in our nation’s history. Millions of dollars were donated to relief organizations to support the relief and recovery efforts. To this day, Mississippians and The Salvation Army remain aware of the sacrifice of so many who came to our aid following Katrina.
When Super storm Sandy roared ashore in New Jersey and New York, residents of Mississippi began asking what they could do to repay the generosity bestowed upon them seven years prior.
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) began a dialogue with counterparts in New Jersey and New York to offer support. Bryant deployed Emergency Management and Public Safety personnel to New Jersey to support relief efforts. Remembering Katrina and wanting to do more, Governor Bryant contacted The Salvation Army in Metro Jackson to collaborate on a food drive to support intermediate recovery efforts in the northeast as the Holidays approach.
“I turned to The Salvation Army to help provide food boxes during the holidays to the thousands along the East Coast who remain in need. Now is our time as Mississippians to give back and remind the thousands of residents that we are praying for them and supporting them this holiday season,” stated Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi.
Utilizing The Salvation Army Southern Territories’ Disaster Services Food Box Program, the partnership hopes to complete over 1,000 food boxes between November 15 and November 18. The program was designed to provide an outlet for organizations and businesses to have hands on experience in disaster support, while also managing the donations of bulk gift in kind items. This week’s undertaking is the first time the Food Box program has been deployed in response to a Natural Disaster.
Participating groups and businesses are provided Salvation Army branded boxes and a list of items needed to complete a food box that feeds a family of four for four days. Items include canned food items, rice, beans and other non perishable food items. Once packaged in the food box, boxes are then palletized in bulk and shipped to a pre designated site for distribution.
“Mississippians who have been on the receiving end of disaster generosity so many times before, are happy to be sending these food boxes to our neighbors in the Northeast,” stated Captain Ken Chapman of The Salvation Army in Jackson.
For more information regarding The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Service program please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the 2012 Hurricane Season to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text* messaging the word “Storm” to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word,“Yes.”
Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “2012 Hurricane Season” on all checks.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.