Feeding America in Puerto Rico
October 25th, 2017
By: Emily Munger
The aftermath of Hurricane Maria is still affecting our friends and family in Puerto Rico, leaving many citizens without electricity and water. Communication challenges remain as many are impacted by power, phone and internet outages. There is also limited access to food, as fuel shortages and road closures make travel around the island nearly impossible.
Feeding America has provided comfort and stability in a devastating time to those affected by Hurricane Maria. For more than 35 years, Feeding America has responded to hunger crises by providing food to people in need through a nationwide network of food banks.
The food bank Banco de Alimentos de Puerto Rico, a network member of Feeding America, has been open and working every day despite power outages and a limited ability to communicate with their 110 food distribution partners. Feeding America was prepared with shipments of 500 disaster boxes containing food and water as soon as transportation, warehousing, and distribution were available to restock the food bank. The Feeding America staff is currently on the ground in Puerto Rico, and the organization is continuing to send over staff to provide additional support.
The organization's website describes its purpose this way: "Feeding America is the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization, with a powerful network of 200 food banks across the country. As food insecurity rates hold steady at the highest levels ever, the Feeding America network of food banks has risen to meet the need. Feeding America feeds 46 million people at risk of hunger, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors."
Aja Estro, a PCGS alumna, has been working with her own organization, Compassion Kind, to help provide relief efforts in Puerto Rico. She has been working to reconnect families, deliver basic supplies, and rescue animals. Estro is collecting information from the most devastated areas to provide the comforting news that families and friends are alive and well. While supplies are being delivered to ports and airports, Aja realized that they are not reaching some of the most affected areas of the island. Her team brings shipments and donations to those in need. Aja's team is also focusing on animals affected by the hurricane, working to rescue those that were left behind in some of the most damaged areas. The team is housing them in shelters and working with partners in the U.S. to plan for their relocation.
For more information about Aja and her relief efforts, click here.