Inside a quiet Christian community organization near Sultana, volunteers with Gleanings for the Hungry were hard at work sorting through donated dehydrated vegetables and bagging up soup to send to places like the Philippines. Families there are still struggling to survive nearly a month after one of the strongest typhoons on record slammed into the country and killed thousands of people.
"Our heart is to help the needy people of the world and when you see a disaster like that it's our heart to reach out and obviously be a blessing to them," said Director Fritz Meyer.
While U.S. troops scale back relief to storm-ravaged cities like Taclaban, churches of the central valley are doubling their efforts to help.
"The people are hungry over there and the supplies are not getting to them quick enough," said Guy Graham of Wellspring Christian Center of Dinuba.
Together with Gleanings for the Hungry and City Impact Ministries of North Carolina, parishioners from his church and others in the Valley are gathering food and medical supplies in an effort to fill four large overseas containers to ship to displaced and injured victims on the island.
"Do you have any idea how much money you were able to raise specifically for the Philippines?" asked Action News Reporter Linda Mumma.
"To this point it's in the neighborhood of 15,000 and each container takes about 6-thousand dollars to send over," answered Graham.
He said two containers full of tarps and tents are already on their way and the group stuffed a third container with more than a million servings of dried soup, Monday morning.
"It's going to Long Beach and from Long Beach it will go by ship to the Philippines. It will take probably around three weeks for it to get there," said Graham.
The group is now praying for a safe voyage and is hoping their connections in the Philippines will help put the food in the mouths of the right people.
They're thanking Valley families for their contributions thus far.
"It's just a blessing to see the need and the people responding and wanting to help so we're just grateful," said Meyer.
The group is also collecting non-perishable foods such as canned vegetables, fruits, meats, as well as dry foods such as beans, rice, lentils and granola bars.
Tents, tarps, blankets, sleeping bags and medical supplies are also a huge help, as well as antiseptic creams, lotions and swabs. All toiletry items like soaps and cleaners will be collected too.
Once in the Philippines, the items will be distributed to cities and communities throughout the central part of the country.
Gleanings for the Humanity
P.O. Box 309
Sultana, CA 93666
Guy Graham: firstname.lastname@example.org
The organization has delivered food and supplies to more than 90 countries in the last 30 years.