MS Salvation Army feeds New Orleans residents after Hurricane Ida

Without electricity, homes in the Greater New Orleans area have food going to waste. However,...
Without electricity, homes in the Greater New Orleans area have food going to waste. However, the Mississippi Salvation Army aims at being the city’s savior.(Andres Fuentes)
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - It’s been a rough few days for Southeast Louisiana residents in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

“I’m just trying to ride out this heat, no power, just trying to make it through the day,” Mid-City resident Johanna Galindo said.

Without electricity, homes in the Greater New Orleans area have food going to waste. However, the Mississippi Salvation Army aims at being the city’s savior.

“If that’s where the need is that’s where we want to be and that’s what we want to do,” MS Gulf Coast Area Commander Jerry Friday said.

Area commands near Ida’s cone of uncertainty stocked up days in advance in preparation for the storm’s landfall, but with Louisiana getting hit the hardest, plans had to change.

“The Salvation Army has an incredible gift of pivoting in a moment of need,” Greater New Orleans Area Commander Chris Thornhill said. “Our ability to have outside units in Mississippi, who are so willing to come and help us in Louisiana, to know that we have them for us, it satisfies the soul.”

Food and supplies from the Salvation Army along the Mississippi Coast and other branches in nearby states were brought to Southeast Louisiana to help those most in need.

“It’s one less thing to worry about,” Galindo said. “With supplies being so limited, this meal is helpful. Just a lunch or dinner goes a long way.”

The charity also gives comfort to people trying to be resilient.

“It’s not peanut butter and jelly,” New Orleans resident Kitty White said. “I’m delighted. I feel like we’ve come back to civilization.”

Most items are given out through the Salvation Army’s fleet of cantinas, as they drive to different spots throughout the metro area. However, the meals are made by various organizations that also set up shop in the disaster area. One of those groups is the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.

“If you give back more than you can take in the world, the world is a better place. All these folks are all volunteers, all trained to do mass feedings,” On-Site Coordinator and Tupelo native Terry Hall said.

It’s a sentiment Mississippi Disaster Relief has too as its crew endures the brutal Louisiana heat.

“It was about a 115 degrees when we slept last night, or what we tried to sleep last night,” said Gene Williamson, with the Mississippi Disaster Relief. And people say why would you want to go through that, and it’s one reason, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That’s the reason why we do it.”

Patterning organizations will help the Salvation Army for about 6-8 weeks, or until the Salvation Army says it no longer needs their services.

And with more and more people eating hot meals, more and more aid will come from the East.

“I don’t want to forget the need that’s just across the state line,” Friday said.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast area command will keep sending supplies and eventually a team of volunteers to Louisiana, which people say is common, especially in times of need.

“If it had hit Mississippi, we would have helped them, that’s what we do on the Gulf Coast,” New Orleans resident Debbie Leckie said.

The Salvation Army is already on the ground in Louisiana helping Ida victims. Major Jerry Friday is just back from New Orleans and joins us now.

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