Nonprofit sells snacks, collects items for storm relief | News
WESLEY CHAPEL, Florida -- From a distance, the red trailer at The Shops at Wiregrass looks like any other food truck, dotted with signs advertising tacos and one-pound tamales.
But a closer look reveals a row of photos taken in Colorado, after wildfires in the northeast following Superstorm Sandy.
The food trailer is used for two things by the nonprofit America's Disaster Relief: to set up and serve free food to people wherever a natural disaster has struck, and to sell food to raise money for those natural disaster victims.
"It doesn't make any difference if you live in a shack and lost everything or you live in a mansion and lost everything, you lost it. Your heart aches the same," says Jan France, the woman who heads America's Disaster Relief.
Along with the food trailer, they've also brought along a truck to collect bedding, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and other items to bring to those still suffering three months after Superstorm Sandy.
On Saturday, they set up in Wesley Chapel. On Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., they'll set up near the South parking garage on Dakota Ave. in Hyde Park to sell food and collect donations.
"There's still people without electricity, and it's freezing cold. There's people living in tents. There's people in apartment complexes that have no water," France says.
People like New Jersey native Paul Gonzalez are happy to support the cause, knowing his friends still living there haven't been forgotten.
"Especially for things that are going back to my original hometown, it's really good. It makes me feel happy about it because they need it out there. They really took a big beating," he says.
The nonprofit collected enough donations to fill three storage units. In December, a trip to the northeast emptied all of them. Then, after a powerful tornado struck Wednesday in north Georgia, France says they got more calls for help.
That's why they hope this weekend's efforts will help bring relief, one taco at a time.