On September 20, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, just south of Yabucoa Harbor. The category 4 hurricane wreaked havoc across the island, flooding and destroying roads, tearing houses apart, knocking out power, and leaving thousands of people stranded without food and clean drinking water.
In the aftermath of this catastrophic event, Levy team members at the Puerto Rico Convention Center have partnered with Army Reserve Unit 597 to help deliver meals to those in need.
Last Saturday, October 28, the team delivered meals to the communities in both the town of Toa Baja on the north coast and Aibonito, a mountainous area in the middle of the island. These communities have seen little-to-no assistance in the 38 days since Hurricane Maria hit, and were some of the most affected with floodwaters that reached heights of 10 feet, causing families to lose everything.
Throughout the day, our team distributed:
- 336 cases of water
- 250 cases of packaged Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)
- 800 fresh sandwiches
- 400 apples
- 400 granola bars
- 800 cold refreshments
- sodas and juices
While out delivering food and water, the team made it up to the mountains and found a young boy, Jose, looking for toys in his home that had been almost completely destroyed by the intense hurricane winds. Jose hadn’t eaten since 7 a.m. that morning and it was already mid-afternoon when the team met him. He ate two sandwiches, some fruit, a granola bar, drank a juice, and a soda; and he is just one of many experiencing such circumstances.
Another stop on the team’s route was to a convent of nuns, who were in desperate need of water, food, and supplies. Our team visited with eight of the nuns, one of whom was 104 years old, and supplied them with the meals and refreshments they badly needed.
The recovery efforts made by our team would not have been possible without the help and partnership of Army Reserve Unit 597. Our team is already coordinating with Unit 597 to go out next Saturday and help Utuado, which is one of the most devastated municipalities and has yet to receive food and water provisions due to no accessible roads, knocked out bridges, and extremely limited communication capabilities.
Keep up the great work, team!