Second Harvest and Leon County prepare to serve evacuees

Second Harvest to provide help to evacuees
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 10:59 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -Now that Ian has Florida in it’s sights, food banks are revving up to respond should their services be needed, including Second Harvest of the Big Bend.

While preparing for the storm is important, local leaders and Second Harvest of the Big Bend are looking to support residents once the dust settles.

“Today I’m declaring a state of emergency so our community can respond as well as prepare for the aftermath potential of an emergency hurricane,” announced Leon County Commission Chair Bill Proctor.

Leon County Commission Chair Bill Proctor sett the tone at the county’s emergency meeting Monday, with Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey reminding people to prepare.

“Please take this time. It’s not a time to panic, but it is a time to be prepared,” said Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey. “Make sure that you take care of yourself, your family, your pets, your neighbors and together we’re going to make it through this storm.”

Second Harvest started their preps this past weekend and say they’re prepared for anything.

“Disaster response is actually core to what we do already so on site we have several truck loads of water and MRE’s ready to respond immediately but we have placed an order for an additional ten truck loads of that to be dropped off beginning tomorrow,” explained Second Harvest of the Big Ben CEO Monique Ellsworth.

And for those across the state looking for refuge, Leon County Schools says they’re preparing to be a host.

“We have identified seven sites, mainly our high schools and a couple of outlying middle schools that will serve as shelters if called upon,” shared Leon County Schools Superintendent Rocky Hanna. “But we are more than prepared and working along with the red cross to provide comfort to individuals who are displaced.”

Second Harvest says they’re ready to meet their nutritional needs.

“We’re going to be preparing by making 1,000 kits so we can, prior to the storm hitting, if there are disaster shelters that are being set up, we can respond to those shelters and bring in snacks for those families,: broke down Ellsworth. “So post storm we’ll have a thousand boxes on hand so that we can go out and do immediate work before FEMA comes in.”

Ellsworth says second harvest will be packing those relief boxes Tuesday morning with the help of volunteers and elected officials from 10am to 12pm.