Hurricane Iota: FFTP Provides Urgent Aid in Central America as Second Storm Strikes

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2020) Food For The Poor is rushing additional critical supplies to Central America as countries brace for Hurricane Iota, the second catastrophic hurricane strike in the same area slammed by Hurricane Eta two weeks ago.

This week, the charity is sending seven additional containers of aid, including three to Honduras, three to Guatemala and one to El Salvador on top of arranging to ship more than 90 containers over the last two weeks.

FFTP also is working with partners Harvest Time in Sanford, Fla., and Jezreel International in Albany, N.Y., to collect relief items from churches in their respective regions. FFTP will ship the goods directly to the countries.

Other relief to date has included:

  • Three disaster kits airfreighted to Honduras and one to Guatemala. The charity is trucking the kits to Honduras from El Salvador because the San Pedro Sula airport in Honduras is closed due to damage from Eta.
  • Eight containers of food to Honduras already in port at the time Eta made landfall, and 16 containers filled with food, cleaning supplies and medical items, which we were en route to Honduras when Eta hit.
  • Sixty-nine containers of aid, including 29 to Honduras, 29 to Guatemala, nine to Jamaica, and two to Belize.
  • An appeal for Nicaragua is under way, and relief supplies will be purchased in-country. The American Nicaraguan Foundation initially is providing aid to 5,500 people, including 1,000 families plus 500 people in shelters.
Iota is forecast to remain a Category 5 hurricane with winds of 160 mph when it approaches the coast of Nicaragua tonight, according to the National Hurricane Center. Torrential rains likely will lead to new flash flooding and mudslides, exacerbated by Eta's already devastating impacts in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize.

"Families were already battling a huge pandemic, then the first catastrophic hurricane comes and now Hurricane Iota which is even stronger than Hurricane Eta," said Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine. "They have not even begun to recover from the first. We can't imagine what they'll face to be hit by a second."

The disaster kits contain multiple pallets of food, face masks, personal cleaning wipes, disaster blankets, tarps, portable stoves and bandages. In addition to pre-positioning supplies each hurricane season, FFTP organizes disaster relief kits with essential items that can be airfreighted and distributed within days to affected families in countries served by the charity.

In Honduras, 525 shelters have opened and are providing refuge to as many as 71,000 people. Still, thousands of families are sleeping on the ground under makeshift awnings or roadside in tents.

Even Colombia is reeling from impacts from Eta, with widespread flooding reported in Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. A mudslide on Sunday injured 20 and forced 500 people to take refuge in shelters. Three schools also were damaged.

There are three ways donors can help FFTP deliver aid to families in Central America:

  • Bring goods to FFTP's Coconut Creek warehouse, 6401 Lyons Road, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Items accepted include: nonperishable foods, canned milk, baby food and cereal, baby items such as diapers, wipes, blankets and gently used clothes, adult diapers, personal hygiene products such as soap, tools such as shovels, rainboots, raincoats and work gloves, heavy duty trash bags and buckets for cleanup, nonaerosol insect repellent, cots or sleeping mats, and first-aid items such as Band-Aid bandages, gauze and kits. Items should have expiration dates no earlier than May 2021 to ensure they can be shipped. For more information, please to go to: www.foodforthepoor.org/etarelief.
  • Make a cash donation. Please go to: www.FoodForThePoor.org/eta.
  • Donate relief items via Food For The Poor's Amazon list: www.FoodForThePoor.org/hurricanesupplies.

Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned and abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054
michaelt@foodforthepoor.com