(Photo: AP Images / Gregory Bull)
Hundreds of Salvation Army volunteers in the United States have spent the last few days preparing and packing one million ready-to-eat meals to send to survivors of the Haiti earthquake.
They are in addition to the 250,000 meals are already awaiting shipment from Des Moines, Iowa.
The meals, courtesy of food group Numana Inc, consist of rice, soy protein, freeze-dried vegetables and vitamins that can be cooked in boiling water.
The Salvation Army said it was liaising with other agencies to bring the food to the people in need.
“We saw a devastating earthquake strike Haiti this week,” said Lt Col Dan Starrett, Executive Director of The Salvation Army World Services Office. “Now, donor generosity is striking back.”
A Salvation Army assessment team has arrived in Haiti and will liaise with Salvation Army staff already working in the capital of Port-au-Prince, where the Christian organization has served since 1950.
Considerable damage was done to Salvation Army property in the city, including a children’s home, clinic and church building.
Tens of thousands of people are believed to have died in Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude earthquake, but with many still trapped under the rubble, the exact toll still remains unclear. Those killed are believed to include the Catholic Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Joseph Serge Miot, and the head of the U.N.'s mission in Haiti, Hedi Annabi.
Along with food, other non-profit organizations have readied clean water, counseling services and Scripture to provide hope and peace to the victims.
American Bible Society and its partners around the world, including the Haitian Bible Society, plan to build 10 permanent, self-sustaining water treatment systems to give 50,000 Haitians clean drinking water, waste management and storm water control everyday, 200,000 copies of God is my Shelter, counseling services and prayer which will be offered by local church leaders, and some 50,000 Bibles to Haitian families.
“The devastation is great and we are ready to open the doors of our building and provide hope and healing to the people of Haiti,” said Magda Victor, director of the Haitian Bible Society. “Though individually we have suffered loss, we are grateful to be alive. Our staff is committed to our mission and we are organizing volunteers and working through partners to deliver the most needed resources but also preparing ourselves to be a distribution point for water and the hope and encouragement the Bible can provide.”