Stories of Impact

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Five Food Banks Receive Grants in the Aftermath of Devastating Tornadoes

Little,Rock,,Arkansas, ,May,6,2023:,Tornado,Damage

BBF Global Relief responded to recent tornadoes that struck several states in the Midwest and South over the past month by providing grants to our network of food banks.

Food Bank of Iowa

A series of tornadoes that ripped through Iowa in late May killed five people and hurt 35 others. Greenfield, Iowa, a town an hour southwest of Des Moines with a population of 2,000 people, suffered the most damage, with roofs torn from houses and trees uprooted from the ground.

BBF’s grant supported the Food Bank of Iowa’s mobile pantry program, which operates in 30 counties. The program provides families affected by the tornadoes with a variety of shelf-stable and fresh foods at prearranged sites. The food bank has also increased its food distribution by creating extra routes and assisting partners in affected areas.

Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma

Residents in Claremore, Oklahoma, a town half an hour northeast of Tulsa, have been busy cleaning up the destruction left behind by an EF-3 tornado that hit the community in late May.

The Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma has played a vital role in the region’s disaster response by collaborating with organizations to provide nourishing meals to affected families, individuals, and workers. BBF gave the foodbank a grant that purchased immediate disaster relief for tornado victims, helping the organization deliver 2,250 meals to tornado victims and cleanup crews each day.

Feeding America: Kentucky’s Heartland

BBF supported Feeding America: Kentucky’s Heartland in the aftermath of a deadly series of tornadoes that tore through western Kentucky in December 2021.  The funding helped the food bank distribute thousands of meals to families impacted by the disaster.

Recent tornadoes, unfortunately, have not given Feeding America: Kentucky’s Heartland much of a break from responding to disasters. Power outages in the food bank’s 42-county service area in central, south-central and western Kentucky have led to expedited food distribution. A grant from BBF helped the food bank purchase and deliver additional food to restock supplies, so agency partners have enough food to respond to the ongoing and increased need.

Tarrant Area Food Bank

A tornado that killed seven people in Cooke County, Texas in late May is the deadliest tornado to hit the state since 2015.  Tarrant Area Food Bank serves 13 counties, most of which have undergone a disaster declaration due to heavy rainfall, large hail and hazardous wind gusts from storms that have impacted the region since April 26.

The Tarrant Area Food Bank distributes approximately one million meals every week, reaching out to around 500,000 individuals across its service region. A grant from BBF helped the food bank meet increased demands for support in the aftermath of the recent storms.

Northwest Arkansas Food Bank

More than a dozen tornadoes hit northwest Arkansas in late May, blocking roads with down power lines and uprooted trees. The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank has played an active role in recovery efforts by operating mobile food pantries and partnering with local organizations to serve hot food.

The food bank was in the process of relocating its warehouse when the storm hit, causing the demand for services to heighten at a time when the food bank’s inventory was at its lowest. BBF gave the organization a grant to replenish supplies following the storm and support the organization’s mobile pantry efforts across northwest Arkansas.

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