Hurricane Matthew continues to beat up populated areas day after day, even so, much of our focus has continued to be on Haiti. As of today, the death toll climbed to over 500 men, women, and children. This number is expected to rise as relief agencies reach the remote areas of the country. Most of the deaths were in villages around the southern coast and were due to falling trees, flying debris, and swollen rivers.
As the destruction is realized, the new focus is on distributing clean water and food. Crops have been destroyed, leaving the poorest country in the Americas in an even more fragile state. “About 80% of the banana crop in Arcachaie, the biggest banana-growing region in Haiti was destroyed. These crops supported more than 20,000 families, and farmers may have difficulty replanting the crops due to seawater flooding,” USA Today. Water is also of concern as the progress and infrastructure that was built and improved on since the 2010 earthquake has taken a big blow in many areas, making cholera a concern. Over 10,000 people died of cholera after the 2010 earthquake, due to water contamination.
Our partner, Mission of Hope has reported that their priority is now distributing food, clean water, and medical supplies throughout the country. With your help in the past few days, hundreds of thousands of meals have been funded. Next Wednesday, Fielder Church in Arlington, TX will be packing over 64,000 meals in response to the storm. When Michael Pickering called Numana offices on Tuesday, he asked how quick can we pack a lot of meals. We immediately started planning. Numerous other churches are taking a special offering to provide food for Mission of Hope to distribute to people in so much need. Allyson Price of Sloan Creek Intermediate School in Fairview, TX called to schedule a packing event this week as well. The elementary school had packed 20,000 meals earlier in the year and she said that as soon as news hit, The kids were very concerned about the people in Haiti and insisted that they pack more meals for Haiti.
To all of you who have donated, planned a fundraising activity or packing event, or registered to volunteer at one of the upcoming packing events; thank you! Because of you, we hope to send over 500,000 meals in the next couple of months. These efforts will continue into 2017 because food insecurity will be at an increased level for months and months to come as farmers start over with their crops and the country begins to rebuild, again.
In addition to Haiti relief, we plan to provide food to Convoy of Hope as well. Convoy assists in disaster relief throughout the United States and will be working in the states where Hurricane Matthew has hit our country. Yesterday, 110,000 meals were requested by Convoy of Hope, to assist in their relief efforts in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
Please consider a donation or a pledge, which will allow food to be packed and shipped immediately. For every 30 cents that you give, another nutritious meal will be provided to people affected by Hurricane Matthew.
Mobilize your church, school, or business to pack meals for Mission of Hope:Haiti or one of our other partners.