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NC Tornado Relief 2011

“Our thoughts go out to the many families affected by the recent storm. We are grateful that our warehouses in the affected areas are operational and we are making sure that our partner agencies can operate or return to full service as soon as possible to continue providing relief to those who are struggling” ~Peter Werbicki, President/CEO

Disaster Assessment & Response | How to Help | Most Needed Items | Find Help | History | Be Prepared

Relief Effort Survey


Tornado Relief 2011Every day, The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina responds to a crisis in its service area - hunger. The Food Bank serves as a conduit for accepting, sorting, packaging, storing, and distributing food and non-food essentials to more than 500,000 people at risk of hunger daily in its 34-county service area. As a first responder during times of a natural disaster, the Food Bank also reacts immediately to serve victims of tornadoes, hurricanes and floods throughout the southeast without disrupting regular food distribution in North Carolina.

Following the tornadoes hitting North Carolina on April 16, the Food Bank assessed its partner agencies (food pantries, rescue missions, soup kitchens, senior and child nutrition programs) in counties affected by the storm to determine how their distribution capabilities fared. The Food Bank has been in communication with the American Red Cross and North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NCVOAD). The organization has reached out to assist sister food banks in Elizabeth City, which serves Bertie County and in Fayetteville, which serves a portion of the Sandhills along with the Food Bank branch there. As a result of the initial assessment, Food Bank agencies in Wake, Lee, and Greene counties were hardest hit. The organization is sending additional resources to the agencies affected by the powerful tornadoes on Saturday, April 16; have extended hours for these organizations to shop for additional items and is making special deliveries directly to agencies affected.

Wake County saw unprecedented devastation due to Saturday’s storm and many Wake County agencies served out of the Food Bank’s main warehouse on Tarheel Drive in Raleigh have a high anticipation of increased need and are already supporting large numbers of individuals and families who are without power. Some of the agencies themselves are without power but still operating and still distributing to those who need assistance, even taking to the streets, supporting a trailer park community by distributing flyers to families with information of additional hours of distribution today.

Lee County, one of the hardest hit areas in North Carolina by Saturday’s powerful storm, is served out of the Food Bank’s Sandhills Branch. With one of the agencies serving as a designated day shelter for kids as a result of the storm, additional food donations will help meet the increased demands on their services.

In the Food Bank’s Greenville Branch service area, one Greene County agency hit by the tornado also has an increased need for emergency food and non-food items.

During the week following the disaster, the Food Bank distributed more than 86,000 pounds of food to the relief effort. In April (2 weeks following the disaster), over 311,000 pounds of food was distributed. Great community support and donations from other areas of the country have allowed the Food Bank to provide the following for hard-hit agencies in Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Greene and Onslow counties:

  • 39 pallets of snacks, water, produce and frozen meat to Wake County agencies and American Red Cross facility in Johnston County totaling more than 26,500 pounds
  • 20 pallets of produce, orange juice, water and canned goods to Lee County agencies totaling 16,519 pounds
  • 10 pallets of produce, orange juice, water, dairy and bread from Greenville Branch to Greene County agencies totaling 9,962 pounds
  • 10 pallets of produce, water and snacks to an agency in Harnett County totaling 11,000 pounds
  • 10 pallets of water, snacks and relief boxes to an agency in New Bern County totaling 13,000 lbs
  • Two deliveries from Greenville Branch to agencies in Onslow County totaling 9,240 pounds
  • The American Red Cross in Greenville is storing 22 pallets of product in the Food Bank’s Greenville warehouse.
  • 10 pallets of meal kits, diapers, water & styrafoam trays from Greenville to an agency in Onslow County
  • 6 pallets of meal kits, diapers, water & styrafoam trays from Greenville to an agency in Greene County
  • 7,937 pounds of canned vegetables, meats, pasta, water, beans and rice from Greenville to Jacksonville Salvation Army
  • A tractor trailer load of water, meals ready to eat, snacks, produce & styrafoam trays/cups, from Raleigh to an agency in Lee County.
  • 10 pallets of water, produce & snacks from Raleigh to an agency in Craven County
  • 8 pallets of disaster relief items to an agency in Sampson County

View Slideshow: Damage, Relief & Volunteers

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The Food Bank expects to see the need for emergency food to increase over the coming weeks as displaced families seek precious resources.  Food & fund donations to the Food Bank will help provide emergency and increased assistance to Food Bank partner agencies.

  • Donate Food: Food donations will be accepted at Food Bank warehouses in Durham, Raleigh, New Bern, Greenville, Southern Pines and Wilmington. See the most needed items below.
  • Donate Funds: Donate on the Food Bank website. Text a $10 donation by sending “40meals” to 50555. Checks can be mailed to 3808 Tarheel Drive, Raleigh, NC 27609.

Tornado Most Needed Item List VisualThe most needed items for disaster relief are:
 · High-protein canned meals with pop-top cans (ravioli, soups, spaghetti)
 · Paper goods and products (paper towels, paper plates/cups/napkins, plastic utensils)
 · Diapers
 · Hygiene products (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, etc.)
 · Other single serving meals that do not require refrigeration or cooking/meals ready to eat
 · Single serving snacks such as raisins & granola bars
 · Peanut Butter
 · Cleaning supplies and disinfectant wipes 

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If you have been affected by the tornadoes in central or eastern North Carolina and are in need of food assistance, search our directory to find a Food Bank agency near you.

For long-term assistance, visit the Food & Nutrition Services (Food Stamp) Program website for eligibility and application information.

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The Food Bank has a long history of responding to natural disasters. With the devastation of the 2005 hurricane season, the Food Bank sent nine truckloads of relief food and essentials to help the victims of the hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, with the trucks going to: Baker and Alexandria, Louisiana; Tyler, Texas; and Jackson, Mississippi. The Food Bank distributed over 233,000 pounds of food.

Read more about the Food Bank's disaster relief efforts.

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Be Prepared!

Disaster Checklist ThumbnailAs a public service, the Food Bank has produced a list of the top 10 things you should do to prepare for an emergency. Click here to request our "Be Prepared" checklist.

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Donor Survey

Did you donate during the disaster? Help us enhance our relief efforts during natural disasters by completing this short survey: Humanitarian Relief Effort Survey

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