Food for Typhoon Survivors

December 17, 2013 • Philippines
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Many people in the Philippines went days without food after Typhoon Haiyan destroyed their homes. Now Samaritan’s Purse is distributing rations large enough to feed families for a month.

Throughout Tacloban, there are dozens of signs asking for help. People are in dire need.

“When I first drove through here, people were standing next to the road with their arms stretched out,” said Ayouba Hassan, a Samaritan’s Purse team member doing food distributions in the Philippines.  “They were asking for food, water, and shelter. It broke my heart.”

Give Life-Saving FoodOne woman who needed help was Analiza Mendoza. She described the typhoon winds like a tornado. The ocean, which is typically more than two kilometers from her home, rose all the way to her neck.

“I wanted to climb onto the roof, but the wind was too strong,” she said. “After three or four hours, things calmed down and I slowly came out. When I did, there were dead bodies all over the place.”

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Analiza came close to drowning in Typhoon Haiyan. When the storm ended, nothing was left. She and her husband didn’t know how they would care for their four children.

Mendoza thought the worst was over, but her troubles continued. It took responders days to get relief goods to the affected areas. Roads were covered in debris. After a few days, Mendoza began thinking she would die of starvation, but her husband comforted her.

“If we made it through the storm, we’ll make it through this,” he said. “Food is on the way.”

Samaritan’s Purse is one group working to meet the needs of survivors like Mendoza. We are partnering with the World Food Programme to distribute 1,000 metric tons of rice to 17,000 families on Leyte and Banatayan Islands. The team has begun distribution and is eager to get the food out. Every family who comes to our distributions will receive two rations, each one sufficient to sustain them for two weeks.

After the typhoon, local markets collapsed, making it impossible for the population to satisfy its basic needs. While the local government is working tirelessly to reestablish order, it will take some time before the situation is stabilized. In the meantime, people are in critical need of aid.

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Famlies lined up to register for the distribution. With the food distributed by Samaritan’s Purse, one family will have enough food for four weeks.

“It is great to be a part of this response,” Hassan said. “People are so grateful when they receive the ration. Many have been without food for days. Others have received food in small quantities but not enough to carry them through the week. When families receive the food, it truly makes their day.”

Mendoza came to our distribution to collect food for herself, her husband, and their four young children.

“I would wait all day to get this rice if I had to,” Mendoza said after collecting her rice. “It is very important. Thank you for bringing this food.”

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