Capital Area Red Cross Feeds Central Florida Hurricane Victims

There are now 21 dead and still tens of thousands of people without power from central Florida to the West Coast.

In central Florida Wednesday night, a Red Cross chapter from our area is trying to ease the suffering and frustration. Hurricane Charley didn't spare its wrath on central Florida. It's only been a few days since the storm, and trees are still fallen, signs are still broken, and in some cases the power is still out, but the people of Kissimmee, Florida are not going hungry.

Randy Barkley, a Capital Area Red Cross volunteer, says, "We'll be here until whatever day that is, it could be five days from now, it could be two weeks from now, but nobody in this area now has power."

Nearly 6,000 meals are being provided each day through the Capital Area Red Cross's mobile kitchen. They set up shop at the Osceola Square Mall parking lot Monday and will stay put as long as needed.

Woody Morgan, also a Capital Area Red Cross volunteer, says, "I devote as much time as they need me. It may be a week, it may be a month, that's fine."

John Smith says he never thought he would see the day where he and his grandson would have to stand in line for food, but now that that day has come, he says he's grateful.

"It's great to see all the people helping in this disaster like this here," John says.

Support for this disaster relief effort is coming from beyond Red Cross volunteers.

Oscar Flores, another Capital Area Red Cross volunteer, says, "I'd say more than half of the help we're using are local people that came to get food and say oh, do you all need help and they just come volunteer right on the spot."

Capital Area Red Cross volunteers say they'll stay here until every last person is fed. Until then, if they're needed somewhere else that's where they'll go. More than 75 volunteers are working at the mobile kitchen set up by the Capital Area Red Cross. That includes nearly 20 Red Cross volunteers from the local chapter.