(Tampa) Sept. 11, 2017 - With limited supplies and resources for assessing local needs, Salvation Army units from across Florida continued to feed and shelter residents even in the middle of Hurricane Irma’s plowing winds and rains.
“The Cavalry is coming,” said Lt. Col. Ken Luyk, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army of Florida. “We’re all in this fight together and you aren’t alone.”
All 32 Florida Salvation Army canteens (mobile kitchens) are expected to be deployed throughout Florida, serving residents in the most need. An additional 24 mobile kitchens from across the eastern seaboard are making the way to Florida to help with the Hurricane Irma relief and recovery efforts.
Mobile kitchens are prepared to serve up to 1,500 meals a day. The Salvation Army also has two semi-truck size field kitchens capable of making more than 20,000 meals a day.
On Monday, the larger Salvation Army assets were redeployed from Florida’s east coast to the west, where coastal cities were damaged.
“Now that the winds have finally died down, The Salvation Army can easily move equipment from Miami to Fort Myers, all the way up to Port Charlotte,” said Kevin Smith, Emergency Disaster Services director with The Salvation Army of Florida. “Teams will be making assessments and learning where the most critical needs are.”
All 47 Salvation Army units – from Pensacola to south Florida – are assisting and serving residents in need.
To date, The Salvation Army in Florida has served more than 30,000 meals since it began its Hurricane Irma response on Sept. 8th, serving in shelters and alongside emergency responders in preparation for Irma.
Today, our teams focus on serving throughout the community helping emergency management identify where the needs are the greatest.
The Salvation Army has more than 3,000 trained volunteers and staff in Florida, ready to offer a warm meal, bottled water, coffee or offer emotional and spiritual care.
The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the need continues to be assessed.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text “Storm” to 51555.
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).