With the Blizzard of 2013 came hunger to the Wampanoag Tribe of Mashpee. The question came from the tribe’s emergency managers: Can the Red Cross help?
The American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts was uniquely poised to respond to this local disaster. Not only do we have an Emergency Services Department ready to offer aid in times of disaster, but we have a Food and Nutrition Department ready to help in emergencies involving hunger.
The logistics of getting the food to the tribe was an effort in itself: Few agencies are looking for fruit boxes in the wake of a blizzard. The Boston Red Cross food pantry found itself seeking more than 180 banana boxes strong enough to hold three meals. As power was restored on Cape Cod, six pallets of full boxes were trucked to Mashpee.
Each fruit box was filled with provisions to feed a family of three for 3-5 days: sweet potatoes, a 5 pound bag of white potatoes, a 3 pound bag of carrots, beets, apples, turnips, onions, dry goods (like cereal, pasta and tomato sauce, dried fruit, canned tuna and beans) and best of all... a 10 pound bag of chicken quarters.
“Those food packages not only filled our Tribal Members’ stomachs, but more importantly their hearts,” wrote tribal emergency managers Robbie Hendricks and Brenda Richerson.“ Honestly from the tears of compassion of those receiving them, to the smiles of our volunteers istributing them, this was truly a wonderful experience.”