5 Ways You Can Help Hurricane Florence Victims

Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen are working with the American Red Cross to feed thousands of people affected by the storm. (Photo by American Red Cross.)

Last week, Hurricane Florence hit coastal North Carolina and parts of South Carolina with heavy rain and record-breaking floodwaters. And though the storm has significantly weakened, recovery in both storied Southern states is just beginning. Across the country, chefs are heeding the call to fundraise, send meals, and help out in any way they can. In New Orleans, Louisiana, groups from local hotspots like Coquette, Cochon, GW Fins, and more are banding together to produce meals to package and deliver to those affected by the storm. Chef José Andrés and his team at World Central Kitchen are on the ground in both states, operating kitchens and working with various relief agencies to provide meals to shelters in the area. On Monday, North Caroline Chef Andrea Reusing and a handful of fellow chefs hosted the Florence Relief Dinner that raised thousands of dollars to benefit the farmworkers of North Carolina. And whether you’re able to attend benefits or events like these or not, there are still many ways you can help those affected by Hurricane Florence.


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1. Help Fund Food Banks

Most cities and regions have not-for-profit food banks that serve the area’s many residents. While donations of non-perishable items are appreciated, these organizations are also often in need of monetary gifts. These can assist with any operational costs in addition to going toward purchasing specific food items that may be in low supply. If you do want to send food items, be sure to check the food bank’s website or give them a call to find out which products are in highest demand. The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in  and the Harvest Hope Food Bank (with multiple locations in South Carolina) are taking disaster-relief donations.


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2. Send Supplies

From diapers to toiletries to drinking water, various organizations and police officers in the Carolinas are providing residents with many of the most basic necessities as these communities recover. Check in with local law enforcement and emergency management agencies for lists of needs and drop-off locations.


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3. Volunteer with an Organization

If you are willing and able to personally get your hands dirty and physically help with cleanup efforts, we salute you! It’s recommended that any volunteers sign up with a verified organization. The state of North Carolina has set up a volunteer survey for prospective helpers here, while South Carolina asks interested candidates to sign up through the United Way here.


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4. Dine Out for a Cause

As mentioned above, chefs and restaurateurs across the country are chipping in to help with cleanup and rebuilding expenses. Many are donating a portion of proceeds from sales to relief efforts or hosting special fundraising dinners. Check in with restaurants in your area to see if there are any local events you can be a part of.


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5. Don’t Forget the Animals

Since before Hurricane Florence made landfall, shelters in Alabama, Georgia, and many other Southern states have been working to transport dogs and cats from North and South Carolina rescues to safe areas, or bringing supplies to those shelters that have already begun recovery efforts. From donating supplies to fostering overflow animals, touch base with your local shelters to see how you can help.

If you live in North Carolina or South Carolina and need access to the latest recovery updates, road closures, and safety notices, visit North Carolina Department of Public Safety or South Caroline Emergency Management Division.


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