Via CNN: The Houston Food Bank is “utterly overwhelmed with people asking for help,” its president, Brian Greene, said Tuesday. The food bank needs 500,000 pounds of food a day for the next six weeks to satisfy the “staggering” needs of Texans who have no food or water after the storm, he said.
“People don’t grasp just how many people live here,” said Greene, who was executive director of New Orleans’ Food Bank when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in 2005. He lost his home in Katrina, and lived at the New Orleans food bank for weeks using a garden hose as a shower. Most of the Houston food bank’s volunteers’ homes were damaged and they don’t have power.
“It’s a very similar situation that I saw following Katrina: when the caregivers themselves [are] victims, it just becomes difficult on a far larger scale than you would think,” he said.
If you’d like to help — and oh holy crap they need some help — here are some links to get you started:
The Houston Food Bank. “The Houston Food Bank is “utterly overwhelmed with people asking for help,” its president, Brian Greene, said Tuesday. The food bank needs 500,000 pounds of food a day for the next six weeks to satisfy the “staggering” needs of Texans who have no food or water after the storm, he said.”
The Houston SPCA. “Teams from the Houston SPCA loaded tens of thousands of pounds of crates, food, litter, water, newspapers, cleaning and medical supplies, bowls, blankets and other supplies and headed for Galveston. The closer they got to Galveston, the more tragic the devastation …”
The Capital Area Food Bank (Austin). It’s my understanding that this food bank has also been chipping in to help out in Houston, and now it too is wholly depleted. Most-needed items: bottled water, granola bars, canned meats (pop-top lids), peanut butter, diapers & wipes (adult and baby), personal care items (toothpaste, toothbrush, feminine products, soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc.). This food bank is also taking donations for the survivors of Ike. Edited to add: For every $5 donated to the Austin Capital Area Food Bank, $20 worth of food will be used for evacuees and victims.
The American Red Cross of Central Texas. “The American Red Cross of Central Texas, the City of Austin, and Austin Independent School District are following the Capital Area Shelter Hub Plan (CASHP) and have received over 6,000 evacuees from Hurricane Ike. Over 22 shelters were opened in Travis and Williamson Counties. Currently, many evacuees have returned home or have moved to shelters in different parts of Austin, though we continue to shelter at least 2,000 evacuees in Austin currently.”
The Austin Humane Society. “To date, AHS has provided Emergency Pet Sheltering Services to 148 pets (dogs, cats, turtles, birds, guinea pigs and even an iguana) from evacuees staying in emergency shelters. 59 have been reunited with their owners and 89 remain in our care.”
Hands On Central Texas. Looking for Disaster Response volunteers for its 211 Texas program. “Description: 2-1-1 Texas, a program of United Way Capital Area, provides free statewide, 24-hour access to health and human services and disaster information through its multilingual helpline.”
Via Weather Underground. “A group of wunderground members are spearheading their own Hurricane Ike relief effort, aimed at providing assistance and supplies to people that are not in the mainstream relief areas. They’ve already raised $5000, and the first relief truck with supplies is on the way to Texas. Deductions are tax-deductible, and can be made in several ways: Patrap’s wunderblog, www.stormjunkie.com, www.portlight.org.
The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. “Collections resumed Tuesday after a four-day hiatus due to Hurricane Ike, so donations are especially needed now to replenish the blood supply and ensure that blood is available for patients in need….Special extended hours will be observed at ten Neighborhood Donor Centers, which will open at 8 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. to give donors adequate time to get home before the local curfew takes effect. A small number of mobile blood drives also will be open to the public on Wednesday.”