For over 95 years, the Red Cross has provided food to victims of disasters during the worst of times. This summer, although not in the midst of a major disaster, the Red Cross in Minot is providing the same support for community members working to rebuild their homes.
“It’s important for the Red Cross to continue our work in the community through feeding Minot during the rebuilding weekends,” Charlie Allen, Northwest District Emergency Services Director for the Regional Red Cross said. “We were there in the beginning, all throughout the flood, and we’re still here trying to help the community rebound in any way we can.”
Starting June 22, the Red Cross has been driving up and down the streets of town providing breakfast, lunch and dinner each Friday, Saturday and Sunday for those mending their homes. As of Aug 20, over 6,970 meals and 11,067 snacks have been served during this program.
“None of this could be accomplished without the generous funding from Minot Area Community Foundation, the supplies from Marketplace foods, ice donations from Minot Restaurant Supply, and the tireless efforts of our volunteers,” Allen said. “It’s the support of community organizations, individual donors and volunteers that allows the Red Cross to provide our services.”
The Minot Area Community Foundation has supported the Red Cross with a gift of $10,000 to help feed those working on their homes.
Although parts of the city have been restored, there are still quite a few people without homes. Mark Lyman, a Public Information Officer for the City of Minot reported in August that there are still 1,233 FEMA temporary housing units in use.
“With groups like the Mid-Dakota Chapter of the American Red Cross providing assistance before, during and after our 2011 flood event, thousands of individuals have been greatly impacted by their heartfelt effort,” Lyman said. “The amazing thing was that many of the staff and volunteers were also victims themselves, who simply chose to serve the greater good.”
Over 130 volunteers from across the Minn-Kota Region have given their time to help out in Minot this summer.
“The most memorable part of this program has been seeing some of our volunteers take time away from rebuilding their own homes to help feed others who are rebuilding,” Allen said. “It takes a special person to do something like that.”
The project will continue through Labor Day weekend but the rebuilding of Minot is far from over. As the feeding program comes to a close, the Red Cross will continue to play a role in serving the Minot community through mission-related programs.
“The work of the many non-profit organizations and disaster relief agencies has been an absolute blessing to the City of Minot,” Lyman said. “Our city’s continual flood recovery efforts would not be possible without the Red Cross.”
For more information on volunteering visit www.redcross.org