More trucks load up for Gulf

Published 7:23 pm Friday, October 14, 2005

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Vigilant/Argus
CASSOPOLIS - Friends help others. The recent hurricanes along the Gulf Coast have brought people together, those who found themselves suddenly in need and those wanting to help.
LeSEA Global Feed the Hungry, an organization out of South Bend, Ind., responded immediately to help the victims of Katrina.
More than 400 tons (800,000 pounds) of emergency relief supplies out of its South Bend warehouse were sent in response to the crisis. 
Staff and volunteers have loaded 19 semi-trucks which have been delivered to various points in lower Louisiana and Mississippi
Basic food items, MREs (meals-ready-to-eat), soup, milk, oatmeal, crackers and other items were sent.
Feed The Hungry responders in the Gulf region arrived in Baton Rouge within 48 hours of the hurricane striking the coast.
More than 50 shelters in the New Orleans area and others in Mississippi were given supplies.
Part of that larger donation was a trailer filled in one weekend while parked at the parking lot at Harding's in Cassopolis.
Volunteers from Penn Friends Community Church helped coordinate the efforts of many volunteers and churches in the area, as part of its 40 Days of Community, which began Sept. 24.
Small groups have been meeting for weekly study to deepen their sense of community.
That first collection for the hurricane victims was such a success, another is planned with two trailers to be filled, one at Harding's in Cassopolis and the other at Felpausch in Dowagiac.
The trailers will be in those parking lots from noon today, Oct. 13, and will be taken back to LeSEA in South Bend at noon on Monday, Oct. 17, to be sorted and then delivered to the Gulf Coast.
The most important critical items needed are cleaning supplies, the Rev. Bill Bruneau, pastor of Penn Friends Community Church, said.
Thousands of people are now returning to their homes and neighborhoods to pick up the pieces of their lives.
In many places, electricity is still out and running water is not available.
These people are in desperate need and requesting cleaning supplies; bleach, mops, buckets and shovels.
Non-perishable food, toiletries and paper products are also in need.
Clothes will not be accepted.
For additional information, please call the Rev. Bill Bruneau, pastor of the Penn Friends Community Church, at (269) 445-8546.
LeSEA Global Feed the Hungry Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to feeding the hungry around the world and providing emergency relief to those in need as a result of famine, drought, flood, war or other disaster. An additional warehouse drop off location is at 61250 S. Ironwood, South Bend, Ind., 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.