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Feeding the hurricane victims

As the people of Florida and Georgia join the people of Texas in digging out from the destruction of a hurricane, it has been uplifting to see the nation come alongside them to help in their time of need.

Whether it’s the linemen who headed there from other states to help restore the power grid or the tree services heading down to help clear the roads or others on the way to help clean out flooded homes, the aid provided toward the cleanup effort will be vitally important to the task of getting the Southeast back on its feet.

A couple of people with Suffolk connections have been helping by providing food for residents who lost power, lost their homes or simply lost food stored in refrigerators when the power went out to millions of homes during Hurricane Irma.

Dane Macan, a Mercy Chefs volunteer, and Shauntrice Anthony of the Salvation Army in Suffolk are both in different areas of Florida and Georgia, working to provide good nutrition until the people in the communities where they are serving are able once again to feed themselves.

Mercy Chefs, a Christian organization that performs the service following many natural disasters, has a 43-foot mobile kitchen that is capable of producing up to 10,000 meals a day.

Macan said the volunteers have been rising at 5 a.m. to start cooking food about 5:30 a.m. They have been serving about 5,000 lunches and 5,000 dinners a day. And the dinners are hearty ones, things like Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes and green beans and a brownie for dessert, as well as barbecue chicken over rice with fresh salad and marinated vegetables and spiced apple cake for dessert.

Anthony’s work has been in Georgia, where, she said last week, the Salvation Army has eight mobile kitchens and nine officers from this area, who served 46,338 meals, distributed 72,164 drinks and gave out 39,354 snacks from Sept. 8 to Sept. 14, alone.

“You come down here thinking you’re coming to help people, but the people have been so sweet and welcoming, I think I’ve been more blessed than I’ve been able to bless them,” she said.

You can help both of these organizations with their work in these hurricane-battered areas.

To give to the Salvation Army’s hurricane relief efforts, to text STORM to 51555 or visit helpsalvationarmy.org. One hundred percent of every dollar donated directly to hurricane relief will benefit survivors directly.

Those wishing to help with the Mercy Chefs effort can sign up to volunteer or make financial donations at mercychefs.com.