Due to Hurricane Irma, this past month has been a hard one for many South Florida residents – especially those having to spend days without power and potable water. This led to a loss of the pre-hurricane food residents had purchased, extreme heat, and an inability to cook hot meals. Many of those who were affected were older adults and families with children.

Our many partners, sponsors, collaborators and on the ground helpers, all have been able to provide some relief:

  • Peaches (also YMCA CHW) was on the news pre-Hurricane as CERT volunteer working to ensure residents were safe prior to storm – see USA Today article online: USA Today Peaches CERT Volunteering in Sistrunk Pre-Irma
  • We distributed over 1500 pounds of ice.
  • We coordinated a donation of hundreds of cases of water by Bank United.
  • Publix Donation – a Northwest Gardens resident champion coordinated the food donation and the YMCA team helped distribute it out to residents.
  • Our partner Feeding South Florida donated 4,000 sandwiches and wraps, 100 cases of water distributed and a much-needed ice donation - Video of Food Distribution Feeding South Florida at NWG.
  • Our partner Meals on Wheels donated 300 disaster relief meals to people in need.
  • Another one of our partners Farm Share, Inc. had an emergency distribution on September 19th of food and infant supplies. There were over 500 people in attendance!
  • Barbecue donations by Smith Community Mental Health and Humana for Community Barbecues on September 15th and 16th.

Check out the live video: Farm Share Food Distribution in Fort Lauderdale

The YMCA  barbecues were truly special with hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, and sides along with a smoothie bar and popsicle treat to beat the heat. This was a special time to connect and care for one another.

The relief efforts continued with an emergency hurricane food distribution in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Fort Lauderdale Police Department, and Farm Share, Inc. and in collaboration with Northwest Gardens. Together we helped families get back to where they need to be after the storm. We had over 500 in attendance!  Residents expressed sincere appreciation of the food, water, fruits, and infant essentials.

THANK YOU to LA Lee YMCA Board Member Craig Fox for spending the day with us helping out, along with other volunteers – so greatly appreciated!

A special shout out to Trina, Scott, Tam and the Housing team for their supportive teamwork, all of the YMCA Community Health Worker team for working hard to ensure residents had everything they needed, and to all sponsors, partners and collaborators for helping to get the resources needed in a timely fashion.


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