Together is indeed, a wonderful place to be, as evidenced recently when many organizations came together to package, ship, and distribute over 1.5 million healthy meals to the Philippines. Millions of people are still recovering from the devastating Typhoon Haiyan on November 8, 2013, but together, with the help of many volunteers, donors, and organizations who value partnerships we can accomplish so much.
Nine years ago, Food for Kidz helped the Outreach Program founders, Floyd Hammer and Kathy Hamilton get started in Union, Iowa. Since that time, Outreach continues to focus on developing services in the area of water, food, medicine, and education and values partnering with other organizations to further their efforts. It’s Outreach who initiated coordination of the 1. 5 million meals to the Philippines, pulling in other organizations: Food for Kidz, Rotary International, Somebody Cares International, Comprehensive Disaster Response and Friends Against Hunger. We are proud to share this story and its testament to what can be accomplished when we all work together!
The loading of 1,425,600 nutritious meals for disaster relief in the Philippines from Outreach’s Des Moines warehouse began on Monday, Dec. 23. Five forty-foot containers began loading in the frigid weather that day. Two more loaded on Tuesday and the remaining loaded on Thursday. Since the previous announcement in November of one million meals donated, an additional 425,600 meals have been provided. The meals were packaged by volunteers across the U.S. and will be distributed in the Philippines by Somebody Cares International, Rotary International, and Comprehensive Disaster Response Services.
“We are delighted that Rotary International made it possible to send additional meals and we appreciate Somebody Cares International for their support,” said Outreach, Inc. Founder Floyd Hammer. “We are very grateful to Food for Kidz in Minnesota and Friends Against Hunger in Missouri for also contributing meals. We are sending a real Christmas present to the Philippines!”
Rotary International Clubs in the U.S. and Philippines are integral partners in this initiative. Rotary District 6000 of Iowa and District 7230 of New York, under the leadership of District Governors Jacque Andrew, Matts Ingemanson, and Outreach Board Member Renato Romano of the Beverly Hills Rotary are providing financial support for transport of the meals. Mr. Romano presented the Outreach program to Rotary Clubs in Beverly Hills, New York, and Washington, D.C. to raise additional funds for the Philippine effort.
Somebody Cares International, a non-profit with expertise in disaster and crisis response, Vice President, Jodie Chiricosta says, “We are so grateful for the partnership with Outreach. Together with Rotary we will be able to deliver and assist with the distribution of the 1.5 million nutritious meals to typhoon survivors in some of the hardest hit areas. It will be a life-saver for many communities — a real answer to prayer.”
Comprehensive Disaster Response Services (CDRS), also on the ground in the Philippines, and Romano will assist with the distribution of the meals. Distribution of meals will be under the personal guidance of Philippine Rotary Governor Daumonguiller Tumangan. Rotarians at Cebu, Manila, and Tacloban will assist in delivery and distribution. The shipping time is forty-five to sixty days.
Together is indeed, a wonderful place to be!