Agency partnering to provide food relief in Florida after Hurricane Ian

Volunteers sort tarps in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Photo/Episcopal Relief & Development

Episcopal Relief & Development announced it is partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida to provide food relief to people affected by Hurricane Ian, which caused extensive damage in Florida at the end of September.

Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm, killed 109 people and caused an estimated $60 billion in property damage. Two million people were displaced by the hurricane and the widespread flooding and damage made it difficult for people to access basic needs like clean water and food.

The diocese, with Episcopal Relief & Development’s support, is meeting the need for increased demand for food among people displaced by the hurricane. In addition, they will also be working with their neighboring dioceses to store and distribute supplies as needed, the agency said.

“The Diocese of Central Florida has an extensive network of church and community partners dating back to hurricanes Irma and Maria,” said Tamara Plummer, program officer, U.S. Disaster Program. “These relationships and experience aiding displaced persons have allowed them to reach those hardest hit by the storm immediately and remain present in the weeks and months to come.”

In early October, Episcopal Relief & Development announced it was partnering with the Episcopal dioceses of Southwest Florida and Florida to provide supplies and direct financial assistance to people affected by Hurricane Ian.

In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, thousands were without power and many did not have access to clean drinking water as officials surveyed the damage to homes and businesses.

With Episcopal Relief & Development’s support, the Diocese of Southwest Florida provided direct financial assistance in the counties hardest hit by the storm. Local communities used the aid to purchase gas and groceries, and for other special needs.

The Diocese of Florida, in partnership with the agency, distributed blankets and sleeping bags, and provided direct financial assistance to unhoused people and storm survivors. They also worked to replenish local food pantries and damaged community garden spaces that provided fresh food to communities affected by poverty.

At the time, Lura Steele, program officer, U.S. Disaster Program, said that “the dioceses in Florida have worked hard over the past several years to prepare, which has allowed them to quickly respond with assistance where it is most needed, both in the short term and in the years to come.”

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