The Midwest Food Bank is preparing to send four truckloads of about 1,000 disaster relief food boxes each to residents in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
The food bank’s Bloomington-Normal location is its disaster relief hub. Executive Director Tara Ingham said the organization is waiting for the green light to pack and send the trucks off.
“We are considered a first responder with the Salvation Army. We let them tell us when it’s needed, and we’ll get on the road within 24 hours,” Ingham said.
She said the 4,000 boxes provide about $120,000 in aid.
“We create boxes in partnership with the Salvation Army to distribute to people in need,” she said. “A box can feed a family of four to five for four to five days, so enough shelf-stable food to get somebody by directly after a natural disaster like these hurricanes.”
Ingham said the boxes are packed by local volunteers. She said there will be a post on the Bloomington-Normal Midwest Food Bank page asking for additional volunteers after they get the green light call.
Ingham said 50 to 100 volunteers work at one time to pack boxes on an assembly line.
She said another way to show support is by writing letters to pack into disaster relief boxes.
“It’s definitely necessary to have a note of encouragement to each and every family and individual that is getting one of these boxes,” Ingham said. “... Just giving encouragement to the end user is really the key. Let them know that somebody is thinking about them.”
Ingham said the best way to support the food bank and its disaster relief efforts is through financial support.
A new campaign allows for mobile donations by texting “@MFB” to 52014. Interested donors and volunteers can visit the Midwest Food Bank website to find out more.
Last hurricane season Midwest Food Bank sent 55 truckloads of disaster relief boxes.
State Farm’s claims operation is prepared to engage its mobile workforce, according to a statement. The insurance giant based in Bloomington has a claims team specially trained for disaster relief that is prepared to deploy to any part of the country within hours after being notified.
“The State Farm catastrophe team helps State Farm maintain high-level service to all policyholders who experience a claim,” the statement reads. “At this time, we are preparing to deploy our catastrophe response team and stage nearby (possibly in Birmingham, AL) to be ready to respond to (Florida) and any impacted areas following the storm.”
The statement identified on-the-ground teams as fully equipped to respond to customer needs as the storm approaches and continues up the coast.
Corn Belt Energy
Corn Belt Energy announced last week the deployment of 10 linemen and crews to support power restoration efforts. A press release named Corn Belt as one of 13 Illinois energy cooperatives to provide power restoration assistance in Dorian’s wake.
The release says Corn Belt workers are staged in Wauchula, Fla.
People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Bloomington-Normal. To support more stories and interviews like this one, please consider making a contribution.