No one, evacuee or volunteer, has to go hungry during the current flood.
Three meals a day are provided free of charge at the emergency shelters, currently established at the First Christian Church on North Main Street and First Baptist Church at First and A streets SW.
Four volunteers with the Salvation Army are preparing food at the Miami Civic Center for the members of the National Guard and volunteers.
“We come with a self-contained unit that we're trained to use,” said Captain Bobby Carr with the Salvation Army.
“Even if people are not staying at a shelter, if someone is busy being evacuated or helping those being evacuated, they are welcome to come have a meal with us at no charge,” said Sam Porter, director of all volunteer missions including disaster relief in Oklahoma.“The food is good. We've been doing this since 1973. No one's gotten sick and they won't under my watch.”
After the flood crests, people will continue to be welcome to eat at the emergency shelters.
“If these people have never been in a flood, they have no idea how fast their money will go with repairs, etc.,” Porter said.
The Southwest Baptist Convention's disaster relief team has sent more than 25 volunteers, wearing yellow caps, to prepare food.
David Johnson of Vian is the “volunteer in the blue cap.” To the layman, he is the team leader or the man with all the answers.
Porter, as the state director, wears a white cap.
The caps don't seem important until one wanders among all the volunteers looking for information or instruction. That's when the caps come in handy.
“I love to say these men work harder than those paid by the hour because they're working for the Lord,” Porter said.
Under contract with the American Red Cross, the disaster relief team received a pre-set truck load of food from Sysco and U.S. Foods.
The disaster relief teams prepare basic simple meals, which change with the location of the disaster.
“We helped from August through January after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina,” Porter said. “Then we fixed food with a Cajun slant. We made a lot of red beans and rice.”
It's a hard thing to anticipate how much food will be needed during the different stages of a disaster.
The disaster relief teams prepared more than 15,000 meals during Hurricane Katrina.
“You just don't know how many people will eat at the shelter,” Porter said. “Right now, we're fixing food for 100 people.”
Carr expreseds gratitude for donations to the Salvation Army from the local Taco Bell and Wal-Mart.