The Archdiocese of Miami on Friday issued an urgent call for canned goods, dry foods including rice and beans, hygiene products and money to be sent to Cuba and Haiti after Hurricane Matthew pummeled the two island nations.
“We have thousands and thousands of people with no food,” said Archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta at Notre Dame d’Haiti Church in Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood.
The Rev. Reginald Jean-Marie, faith leader at Notre Dame d’Haiti, said the hurricane devastated both Haiti and Cuba.
“Let the cry of the people of Haiti be your calling,” Jean-Marie told the Miami community.
Ross Agosta said she is not sure when donations can be sent to the stricken nations because of transportation issues. She hopes someone in South Florida with access to a plane or boat will help the church distribute supplies to Cuba and Haiti.
North Miami Mayor Smith Joseph, who was born in Saint-Louis-du-Nord, Haiti, said the city has been begun planning and partnering with local organizations to assist in Matthew recovery and aid efforts.
Joseph said the city doesn’t want to accept monetary donations but instead requests medical supplies, food, toiletries and clothing. The mayor also reached out to area hospitals including North Shore Medical Center and Jackson North Medical Center.
“We are in the first phase of gathering donations and contacting stakeholders in the community,” Joseph said. “Along those same lines we are contacting authorities in Haiti to figure out the best way to get the supplies to them.”
The city is still finalizing where it will collect the bulk of the donations, and will likely set up a container outside the North Miami Police Department, 700 NE 124th St. North Miami has one of South Florida’s largest Haitian populations and previously provided aid to Haiti following multiple storms in the 2008 hurricane season and after the 2010 earthquake.
Miami Herald reporter Lance Dixon contributed to this report.
How to help
Food and other supplies for Cuba and Haiti can be dropped off at Notre Dame d’Haiti Church, 110 NE 62nd St., Miami, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days. Money can also be donated at www.ccadm.org/support-our-mission.