Sanderson Farms, Inc., presented a check for $1 million on Nov. 2 to the American Red Cross to aid in recovery efforts for people devastated and displaced by recent back-to-back natural disasters. An additional $1 million contribution was given to Samaritan's Purse last week. In addition to the monetary donations, Sanderson Farms has also donated over 500,000 pounds of chicken, ice, and supplies to those hit hardest by the devastation.
"Sanderson Farms has vital facilities in several communities impacted by the recent hurricanes, and our chicken is sold and shipped to customers in both Puerto Rico and Mexico," said Joe F. Sanderson, Jr., CEO and Chairman of the Board of Sanderson Farms. "We are saddened that these hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and wildfires have directly impacted our neighbors, many of whom are our business partners and loyal customers. We are committed to doing everything that we can to assist the recovery efforts during this time of great need."
Nearly 16,000 Red Cross disaster workers have been mobilized to support relief efforts following hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate. In the past nine weeks, the Red Cross has provided over 1.3 million overnight stays at emergency shelters in eight states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Red Cross has served more than 6.7 million meals and snacks, and provided more than 5.7 million relief items to people in need.
In addition, the Red Cross has over 470 workers in California where more than 27,900 overnight stays have been provided to people seeking refuge from wild fires in 30 Red Cross shelters. The organization is providing support in Mexico where media reports more than 153,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. The American Red Cross works closely with the Mexican Red Cross to provide humanitarian aid and assistance during large emergencies and is committing $100,000 toward the Mexican earthquake relief effort. In addition, American Red Cross disaster specialists are on standby to assist.
"Thanks to the generosity of donors such as Sanderson Farms the Red Cross can respond immediately to disasters like hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and the California wildfires with food, shelter and the necessary humanitarian supplies to ensure people are safe," said Mike Ryan, VP of Development at the American Red Cross. "We are grateful for Sanderson Farms' ongoing support as we work together to provide hope and help to people in need."
Samaritan's Purse has deployed disaster response specialists to areas hit hardest by the hurricanes, including Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and Dominica. Throughout five sites in Texas and four in Florida, more than 11,000 volunteers have joined together in response to over 5,500 homeowner requests for help – clearing debris, removing downed trees, and cleaning out flood-damaged homes. The organization is preparing to begin home rebuilding projects that will continue over the next two years.
"Samaritan's Purse is grateful to Sanderson Farms for their generous donation that will support the relief work we are doing in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse. "Because of their generosity, we will be able to help more families devastated by these catastrophic hurricanes."
Samaritan's Purse has airlifted more than 546 tons of critical supplies to the Caribbean, providing emergency relief in St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos, Dominica, Puerto Rico, Antigua, and Barbuda. The international relief organization is delivering crucial aid via helicopter to remote Puerto Rican villages that have been isolated by mudslides and debris. Essential items, such as hygiene kits, blankets, water filters, and rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting for emergency shelter, are being flown in to Puerto Rico regularly by a DC-8 cargo jet.
On the Caribbean island of Dominica, an estimated 75 percent of homes are considered uninhabitable. Samaritan's Purse has distributed heavy-duty tarps to more than 10,000 households. Medical personnel, equipment, and supplies were sent to Dominica to help meet some of the island's critical needs. Throughout the Caribbean, Samaritan's Purse has installed ten community water filtration units. Many of these systems use reverse osmosis technology to convert sea water to fresh, drinking water. In Barbuda, Samaritan's Purse is providing the only clean water available on the island.
"Millions of our neighbors, partners, customers, and friends continue to suffer from the effects of these natural disasters," said Lampkin Butts, President and COO of Sanderson Farms. "In times of devastation and crisis, it is most important to focus on helping people rebuild their lives and their communities. We will continue to help where we can as our neighbors continue the recovery efforts."