N.C. Baptists fixed more meals for Hurricane Ike victims in one day than they had during any previous disaster relief effort, N.C. Baptist Men leaders said.
N.C. Baptist volunteers prepared 58,000 meals in Baytown, Texas on Sept. 18, a record, according to Gaylon Moss who oversees disaster relief efforts for N.C. Baptist Men.
The volunteers worked three shifts to fix that many meals, Moss said. Cooking around the clock, they prepared 10,000 meals by the time a typical operation would ordinarily start working, he said.
The three N.C. Baptist feeding units in Texas have a maximum capacity of 70,000 meals a day. The N.C. operation is one of six feeding stations manned by Baptists from around the country since Hurricane Ike hit Texas Sept. 13.
About 125 N.C. Baptists were working in Texas in early October. By then, the number of meals they were preparing had decreased to about 20,000 a day, Moss said. He said he expected feeding to gradually diminish through the end of October.
As of Oct. 6, N.C. Baptists had prepared about 612,000 meals and washed about 1,600 loads of laundry.
N.C. Baptists have also started recovery efforts, mostly using chain saws to remove downed trees. Moss said one man told N.C. Baptists that he had been working on cleaning up from the damage but seemed to be getting farther behind.
“He said, ‘You guys saved my life,’” Moss said.
Recovery efforts will likely continue at least through November and Moss is looking for volunteers. Although this disaster relief effort has not received much national attention, “The need is still there,” he said. “We need people to keep responding.”
In an unrelated matter, Moss said the N.C. Baptist command unit trailer was damaged in a single-vehicle accident while on the way to a “show and tell” event in North Carolina.
Insurance paid for repairs. No one was hurt, and no police report was filed, he said.