September 2, 2008
AUGUSTA - Golden Harvest Food Bank is participating in the relief efforts in the Gulf States and preparing for potential emergency response closer to home. Executive Director, Michael Firmin, flew from Augusta to Jackson, Mississippi this morning at 9 a.m., as part of a 5-person disaster assessment team assembled and deployed by America's Second Harvest/Feeding America, the National Food Bank Network. In addition, Golden Harvest is organizing a major emergency Disaster Relief drive throughout the CSRA to kick off within 24 hours.
Firmin was recruited by America's Second Harvest/Feeding America to be part of the assessment team because of his experience in running a national food bank network auxiliary warehouse in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina. A native of Louisiana, his familiarity with the area is additionally valuable.
While Gustav hit the Louisiana coast with less force than predicted, there is still a tremendous amount of damage. Hundreds of thousands of people are in shelters, awaiting return pending initial rescue and recovery work; and tens of thousands will remain displaced for some length of time while repair and recovery continues. In addition, Hanna is still moving toward the East Coast with the potential of creating havoc in this and surrounding regions.
The food crisis of the last few months has left the Food Bank's warehouses nearly empty, so Golden Harvest is calling on the public to respond with donations of funds and food for disaster relief. Details will be forthcoming in the next few hours on the food drive in the CSRA.
Golden Harvest Food Bank was founded in February, 1982 to "Feed the People…End Hunger." Golden Harvest is a locally-supported nonprofit food distribution organization providing grocery products to the hungry through direct service programs and a network of more than 500 partner agencies and programs. Our service region encompasses 30 counties in Georgia and South Carolina. In 2007, Golden Harvest added a Distribution Center in Liberty, South Carolina to better serve its counties in Upstate South Carolina. Golden Harvest distributed more than 10.2 million pounds of grocery products to agencies, families and individuals in need in fiscal year 2007.
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