Local company sends 40,000 lbs of food, supplies to Louisiana

|Joshua Wilson, Marketing Coordinator for Merchants Foodservice

JACKSON, Miss. - Merchants Foodservice and more than 30 vendor partners recently donated 40,000 pounds of food and other supplies to relief efforts following the August flooding in Louisiana.

Two tractor-trailers full of supplies were dispatched to the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, Louisiana, on August 26. The center is serving as a local headquarters for the relief efforts. The supplies, which range from flour to charcoal, will be used in a shelter managed by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian international relief organization based in Boone, North Carolina.

The organization will operate a shelter for 500 people for the next three months, providing hot meals several times a day along with sleeping quarters and bath facilities. Volunteers will also provide Christian counseling and assist in storm clean-up, according to Samaritan’s Purse officials.

The flooding, which occurred from August 12-22, affected most of south Louisiana and left 20 parishes as federal disaster areas. More than 60,000 homes were damaged by the estimated 6.9 trillion gallons of rain with 106,000 households requesting assistance from state and federal agencies.

Donnie Leger and Matt Johnson, sales representatives from the Baton Rouge area, were among those affected by the flooding.

“When the storm cleared and we saw the extent of the damage, our employees jumped into action to help not only our own people but also other victims,” said Andy Mercier, president and CEO. “Our vendors also responded to our request for help and donated cash and supplies to assist in the south Louisiana relief efforts.”

To contribute to the Samaritan’s Purse effort in Gonzales, visit www.samaritanspurse.org. Merchants Foodservice, which was founded in 1904 in Hattiesburg, is ranked 12th in sales volume among the approximately 2,600 food distribution companies in the United States.

The company has distribution centers in Jackson; Clanton, Alabama; Newberry, South Carolina; and Tifton, Georgia. The company serves 12 Southeastern states.

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