VALDOSTA, GA (September 5, 2023) — The Salvation Army of Georgia continues its unwavering commitment to providing essential support to those affected by the aftermath of Hurricane Idalia. As Hurricane Idalia surged through South Georgia, leaving a path of destruction and debris in its wake, The Salvation Army of Georgia activated its resources to provide nourishing meals and spiritual and emotional care to the affected communities.
Lanita Lloyd, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Georgia, emphasized the importance of The Salvation Army’s presence in times of crisis: "During the most challenging moments of a person's life, when they find themselves facing an unexpected crisis, unsure of what to do or say, The Salvation Army is there to provide words of encouragement and both physical and emotional support."
Since the impact of Hurricane Idalia in South Georgia, The Salvation Army has tirelessly provided three meals daily to those affected, which includes two hot meals (lunch and dinner) and a box breakfast. To date, The Salvation Army has distributed over 29,000 meals, 10,000 drinks, and 6,600 snacks and offered spiritual and emotional care to more than 1,000 individuals. Additionally, The Salvation Army has distributed over 1,000 clean-up kits, 175 hygiene kits, and 150 cases of water.
At the peak of The Salvation Army of Georgia's response efforts, they deployed over 40 specially trained disaster personnel to serve the South Georgia area. Ten canteens (mobile kitchens) were actively serving at thirteen locations throughout Brooks, Lowndes, and Lanier counties. A canteen from Bainbridge and St. Marys, Georgia, were also dispatched to provide assistance during the holiday weekend. Furthermore, The Salvation Army Savannah and Brunswick Corps have continuously offered shelter and feeding services to those affected by Hurricane Idalia.
In the wake of Hurricane Idalia's devastation, the people and local authorities of South Georgia have demonstrated remarkable resilience and significant progress in returning to normalcy. Power has been restored to many areas, with only about 10% of the Valdosta area still awaiting restoration. In Lowndes County, teachers returned to school today, and students are scheduled to return tomorrow.
Lloyd emphasized, "We continue to coordinate our efforts closely with local and state authorities to ensure that resources are deployed where and when needed most."
On Wednesday, September 6, from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m., The Salvation Army will distribute over 2,000 shelf-stable food boxes to the public at two locations: 1) at the Five Points Shopping Center located at 3015 North Ashley St. in Valdosta, and 2) at the South Lowndes Recreation Center at 6440 Ocean Pond Avenue, in Lake Park, Georgia.
Major Jason Smith, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army of Georgia’s Idalia response, expressed The Salvation Army’s dedication to providing relief services, stating, "We are humbled to offer support to our fellow residents in Georgia who this devastating weather has impacted. You never know when disaster will strike, but regardless of the circumstances, The Salvation Army will be there to help."
How You Can Help
The best way to support The Salvation Army’s disaster preparation and response efforts is by making a financial contribution, which allows The Salvation Army to meet immediate and long-term needs. During emergency disasters, 100% of designated gifts support specific relief efforts.