As Hurricane Ian prepares to make landfall in Sarasota County, potentially as a major hurricane, All Faiths Food Bank is gearing up to provide food and water to shelters, disaster relief organizations and storm victims.
The food bank has already started distributing ready-to-eat meals for shelters and agencies, snacks, and many pallets of water to shelters throughout Sarasota County. All Faiths is distributing water to 14 shelters at this time. Additionally, 4,000 backpacks were distributed through 10 schools that have a high percentage of students on free and reduced meals and that already had backpacks in stock. Food bank volunteer packed additional backpacks this morning; the food bank will replenish school supplies as soon as schools reopen. For the safety of its staff, All Faiths Food Bank will be closed through Thursday, Sept. 29. When roads are clear, the food bank plans to begin immediate distribution of food and water on Friday morning, Sept. 30.
Four members of the food bank’s emergency response team will remain at the organization’s headquarters through the storm, and two will be located at the Sarasota Emergency Operations Center.
Additionally, eight members of Sarasota’s Tactical First In Teams (TFIT), who are responsible for clearing roads to make it safe for first responders like All Faiths to navigate the roads, are sheltering at the food bank’s headquarters. When roads are cleared, drivers will begin delivering water and food.
In the days after Ian, All Faiths will assess the disaster relief capability and needs of its 200 partner agencies and programs and continue distribution of additional food items from its warehouse on Fruitville Road.