Report from Haiti
Our team from Florida is in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and reported back. Staffer Chris Frosch reported this morning (January 15) that there is dust, debris and “dead bodies everywhere,” and little or no cell phone service. Tens of thousands of people are camped out in public parks because of the aftershocks. The team is staying at a Haiti staff member’s house. “Last night we all slept in the cars because it was not safe to sleep inside,” Frosch said.
Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, has been hit hard by the earthquake. “This is Haiti times 100. People are looking for lost relatives… it’s chaos,” said Frosch.
This afternoon, our Food For The Poor warehouse in Haiti loaded a 10,000 gallon water purifier into a truck to donate to the International Red Cross. The warehouse is now running on generator power.
Food For The Poor staff member Tom Corpolongo said there are huge crowds at any gas station that is open. Fuel is becoming scarce in the capital city. “People in neighborhoods are blocking the streets from traffic with tents. There’s about 30 to 50 people in each neighborhood sleeping on the street with tarps, blankets, whatever they can find covering them. Nobody wants to go back into their houses right now. They are scared of aftershocks,” said Corpolongo.
Almost 100 containers of urgently needed medical supplies, rice and canned food from Food For The Poor are ready to be distributed to the people of Haiti, who are reeling from the devastating effects of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake. Another 300 containers are planned as a part of the initial relief effort. Shipments have already been made into the port of Cap-Haitien in northern Haiti. Thousands of Haitians are leaving the city and heading to northern areas.
The containers of aid are part of Food For The Poor’s goal to provide $5 million in relief to the struggling nation, as it endures one of the worst natural disasters in its history.
“Our hearts are broken watching this news about the country that we care so much about, and have worked in for so long,” said Robin Mahfood, President/CEO of Food For The Poor. “Our job now is not to ask why they have had to suffer again, but to do everything we can to get help to them. We need everybody’s help.”
Jennifer Leigh Oates
(954) 427-2222 x 6054