Thursday, August 7, 2008

Food Banks Struggling to Meet Hurricane Needs

Demand for emergency food has risen across Texas this summer, and across the population - working families, kids and seniors are all facing the prospect of hunger.

Now add to the list hurricane victims, as food banks find themselves attending to ongoing needs when emergency teams from FEMA and the Red Cross stand down.

This week, the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley issued a statewide appeal (1, 2) for more food following Hurricane Dolly. While most first responders and shelter managers have gone home, the food bank continues to see a flood of need.

"Normally, our agencies serve about 517 meals per day in any given week, whereas they are now serving 3,255 meals per day," said Terri Drefke, executive director of the food bank.

Should private charity be our only safety net when federal efforts aren't enough? FEMA seems to think so, as they are now considering phasing out the delivery of ice following natural disasters. Meanwhile, food banks along the Texas coast are turning their attention to Tropical Storm Edouard.

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