Flood victims receive hot meals, supplies in Tangipahoa Parish

Flood victims receive hot meals, supplies in Tangipahoa Parish

INDEPENDENCE, LA (WVUE) - Along a railroad track, compassion was dished up for a community in need.

"We lost our truck and our trailer and our water pump," said Alice Stewart, a Tangipahoa Parish flood victim.

A Salvation Army truck had arrived earlier with staffers from Hattiesburg to give away hot meals and cleaning supplies.

"You know, personally, I've had my own share of Katrina and different disasters myself, so people have helped me. It's just my chance to give back and help people. Times are hard for people right now, but we're just people trying to come together and help one another," said Matt McMullen, who works for the Salvation Army in Mississippi.

"It means, you know, something warm to eat," said Ashley Anthony as she enjoyed the free meal.

"It means a great deal, it really does because we lost all our food, clothes and stuff like that," added Stewart who stood nearby.

Also drawn to the food distribution site was Brittany Guidry, a mother of seven children. She said floodwaters claimed their furnishings.

"I think it's wonderful," Guidry said. "I mean, at the moment, the only thing we - our stove no longer works, so we don't have anything to cook with, so this is something. The kids get a meal and it works for us."

Chilled bottled water, granola bars, chips and other snacks were also given away. Many of the flood victims who showed up are without flood insurance and looking to FEMA for assistance.

"There's a lot of people here, such as us," Guidry said. "We were told that we weren't in a flood zone, and sure enough, we ended up getting flooded."

Still complainers were hard to find.

"I know it's going to take time and, you know, hopefully continue to work together and be patient," said flood victim Wonda Francois.

It remains a community with a generous spirit amid the devastation it suffered.

"They had someone else was willing to come do this over here, and I told them that we're going to be here for the next two days with the Salvation Army, and I told them St. Helena  was having problems, they needed somebody to go out and help over there so I sent to them to St. Helena," said City of Independence Mayor Angelo Mannino.

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