Puerto Rico Disaster Relief Mission

Back in October and December of 2017 the Coastal Bend Food Bank had the opportunity to send four of our employees to Puerto Rico to assist the Banco de Alimentos  Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Feeding America had sent out a massive call to all our fellow food bankers for assistance to help in the relief efforts. Even though we were still in recovery mode in the Coastal Bend after Hurricane Harvey our employees did not hesitate to take the call to action and help in the relief efforts.

Santos Herrera, Inventory Manager, Salome Lopez, Warehouse Lead were the first two to head over to Puerto Rico, both were unsure of what exactly to expect on the island. They had both been informed that much of Puerto Rico was still down without electricity and water in many areas.  However despite the news they both headed out to help our friends in Puerto Rico. Once they arrived in Puerto Rico, Santos and Salome set themselves to work in the warehouse organizing, unloading, and loading trucks full of supplies to distribute out to the many affected communities in Puerto Rico. They logged in many long hours during their stay in Puerto Rico, but once the day came for them to return they left the warehouse organized and ready for the next wave of food bankers.

Our second wave of employees Jo Ann Buchanan, Agency Relations/Mobile Pantry Coordinator and Rhonda Sanchez, Product Recovery Specialist set out for Puerto Rico in early December.  Jo Ann and Rhonda spent their time in Puerto Rico getting out to the rural communities distributing food alongside many other community outreach volunteers. Their distributions took them to many places that were difficult to get to due to damaged roadways and hours away from food distribution centers.  Despite the conditions they both worked tirelessly alongside other volunteers to ensure that they helped the many in need of food.

We THANK each of them for their continued hard work and dedication they not only took with them to Puerto Rico but continue to bring each day to the Coastal Bend Food Bank. They truly embody our motto of “Feeding with Impact, Delivering Hope”.

Attached is a letter from Jo Ann  Buchanan to our Board Members that was read to them recently at our board meeting.