Hurricane Ida made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane at Port Fourchon, Louisiana on August 29. The storm, one of the strongest to ever hit the state, caused catastrophic damage throughout Southeast Louisiana. At least 14 parishes in our service area have been affected by Ida, with residents experiencing significant damage to homes and structures and extended power outages. While many communities have returned to something resembling normalcy, we know that the recovery will take years for the hardest-hit areas, and we are committed to providing relief to our neighbors for as long as the need is there.
Since the day after the storm passed, Second Harvest has mounted an aggressive recovery effort since the storm passed, ensuring food, water, and supplies reach the residents of Southeast Louisiana. In our initial response, we distributed millions of pounds of water, shelf-stable food, cleaning supplies, baby items, and pet supplies, as well as hot, cold, and shelf-stable meals across the 14 affected parishes in our service area: Iberia, Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John, St. Martin, St. Mary, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington.
As of Monday, December 13, Second Harvest has distributed 9.5 million pounds of food, water, and supplies through more than 2,492 deliveries across these parishes. We are producing thousands of hot, cold, and shelf-stable prepared meals daily in our Community Kitchen and have delivered more than 188,000 meals to seniors, disaster distribution sites, and first responders.
In the coming months, we will focus our long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts on the areas most devastated by Ida: the Bayou Parishes, Grand Isle, Lafitte, Plaquemines Parish, and the River Parishes. Many of our partner agencies in these locations remain closed due to damage to their facilities, creating a decrease in distribution capacity which we must work to fill. We will collaborate with our agencies still in operation to assess the unique and evolving needs of each of these communities and ensure we are adequately meeting them.
We will continue to respond to elevated needs for many more months as residents struggle with the financial burden of rebuilding their homes and communities. Thank you for helping those most affected by Hurricane Ida and its short and long-term impacts. We are grateful for all of our donors who trust Second Harvest as the experts to serve those who are most affected in times of disasters. We appreciate your support in helping us provide hope to our community during this difficult time.