KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Generosity continues to flow from the Kansas City metro as people here address the needs of those affected by Hurricane Ida.
Harvesters Food Network’s big rig won’t be empty for long. The nonprofit makes a habit of loading up and sending much-needed supplies to places where natural disasters strike.
“If you’ve lost your house, you don’t immediately get back on your feet,” Harvesters’ Chief Operating Officer Steve Davis said.
Davis leads Harvesters’ response efforts. On Wednesday, hundreds of boxes will go to a food bank in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where Ida wrecked havoc 10 days ago.
“We’re not guessing at what the needs are,” Davis said. “We know they need ready-to-eat foods. We know they need water – bottled water.”
Davis said help from the local community has allowed Harvesters to help people across the nation. Food that was donated to them is now being donated to another food bank.
Those who work for Harvesters said it’s a blessing to serve.
“There’s a lot that goes into this. We don’t just show up and start moving food,” said Brian Petty with Harvesters’ transportation team. He’s driven three of these missions.
But Harvesters isn’t a first-responder organization. The nonprofit helps families in need up to a year after the trauma strikes.
“The mission we’re on is an important one, and particularly, when you see the trucks leave here to help people, particularly when you can be part of that front line,” Davis said. “It feels like you can make a difference in the world.”
Davis said Harvesters is also aware of another unique challenge since Louisiana isn’t the only region in need of help. People in California and New York have also been affected by storms and forest fires. Helping people get back on their feet is a passion for the organization.
“It feels good to be able to help out, to be able to hand someone (with) something they immediately need. They’re going to take it home at night and consume it, and it will get them through the next couple of days,” Petty said.
It’s that service that keeps Harvesters’ heart beating.