Tuesday, September 12, 2017

How San Diego's Food Lovers Can Help Hurricane Victims


No recipes this week. No new places to try. Instead, I want to encourage readers to give what you can to those in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean left without homes, food, clothing, and other necessities. Bloomberg reports that the most recent costs in addressing damages for Irma are $49.5 billion--and that's just for Florida! It doesn't take into account the devastation in the Caribbean or the rest of the South getting pummeled still today as Irma keeps traveling. The price tag for Harvey is estimated at between $65 billion and $75 billion, according to AIR Worldwide. And before government disaster relief funds start flowing in, people are suffering. So let's help.

I've pulled together lists from various media for a number of organizations, from the traditional folks like the Red Cross to food banks and others, for you to choose from. My apologies for the awful formatting. That's Blogger for you!

Hurricane Harvey help:

Thanks to Texas Monthly, which compiled this, here’s a list of agencies that could use your support so they can help folks on the ground:

  • San Antonio-based The Texas Diaper Bank is creating a relief kit for families with very small children who need clean diapers during the flooding and evacuations.

  • People with disabilities need a lot of help during this crisis. Portlight has provided inclusive relief to people with disabilities for 20 years—including in Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. It’s now working to make sure necessary medical equipment and assistive technology is available for those who had to evacuate and to make sure that they’re are able to get to safety. They accept donations via PayPal.

  • If you take prescription drugs, you can imagine the fear of those in the heart of the disaster worrying about access to their drugs or those needed by family members. Direct Relief USA offers prescription drugs and other medical supplies to those who need it in emergency situations, and works with clinics and primary care doctors to ensure that the drugs and medical equipment are available to the people who need it. They’re accepting financial contributions

  • More conventional charities are also taking donations. Here’s a list compiled by NPR:

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner established a Harvey relief fund at The Greater Houston Community Foundation. The organization connects donors with a network of nonprofits and innovative solutions in the social sector.

GlobalGiving, which calls itself the largest global crowdfunding community, has a goal of raising $2 million for its Harvey relief fund. Funds will be used first for immediate needs of food, water and shelter and then transition to long-term recovery efforts.

United Way of Greater Houston has launched a relief fund for storm-related needs and recovery. The organization says it already maintains a disaster relief fund but anticipates the needs of Harvey will far exceed those existing resources.



GoFundMe, the social fundraising site, has created a landing page that gathers the campaigns on its platform related to Harvey.

The Salvation Army says it is providing food and water to first responders and preparing for massive feeding efforts for residents.

Send Relief and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief says its teams began responding before Harvey made landfall and continues on-the-ground relief work.

Samaritan’s Purse is accepting donations as well as volunteers for Harvey disaster relief for the coming months.

And, here’s what should hit you where you live… The Houston Press has compiled a list of food banks that are serving the population. The best way to help is through donations so they can buy what they need.

Houston Food Bank
832-369-9390
houstonfoodbank.org

Galveston Food Bank
409-945-4232
galvestoncountyfoodbank.org

Food Bank of the Golden Crescent (Victoria)
361-578-0591
victoriafoodbank.org
Closed Friday

Corpus Christi Food Bank
361-887-6291
foodbankcc.com

Southeast Texas Food Bank (Beaumont)
409-839-8777
setxfoodbank.org

Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley (Pharr)
956-682-8101
foodbankrgv.com

Brazos Valley Food Bank (Bryan)
979-779-3663
bvfb.org

Central Texas Food Bank (Austin)
512-282-2111
centraltexasfoodbank.org

San Antonio Food Bank
210-337-3663
safoodbank.org

For more information on all of these food banks go to feedingtexas.org.

Hurricane Irma help:

Fast Company and The New York Times both compiled a list of ways to help Hurricane Irma victims. They include:
  • Florida’s hunger relief organization, Feeding Florida, is working with food banks across the state to feed those in need.
  • Americares is accepting donations on its website.
  • Crowdfunding site Global Giving is raising money to provide relief to survivors, including food, water and medicine, in the U.S. and the Caribbean. You can contribute here
  • GoFundMe has set up a dedicated page for Irma relief campaigns, filled with pleas from those in need. The site claims it works to verify that all funds go to intended recipients, but it can not always verify specific claims made by individual campaigners. 
  • Convoy of Hope is sending food and emergency supplies and help to the victims of Hurricane Irma in the U.S. Haiti, and Cuba.
  • Save the Children is helping children and families affected by the storms and setting up child play spaces in shelters.
  • Oxfam is working to provide clean water and sanitation, and Salvation Army set up emergency shelters. 
  • Apple made it easy for customers to donate to hurricane relief efforts directly through iTunes and the App Store. 
  • The Red Cross: You can donate online or text “IRMA” to 90999 to chip in $10.
And, of course, you want to make sure that your generosity is going to the right place. Before donating to an unfamiliar charity, check it out. One place to start is Charity Navigator.