January 30, 2023 | by Steve Elliott
The residents of a large mobile home park near Lodi were flooded during the recent storms. Returning in late January, these residents needed assistance with cleanup and repairs. Given their modest means, they also needed help replacing the food lost during the extended power outage.
The pastor from Lodi First UMC, George Edd-Bennett, identified this situation and alerted Ella Luna-Garza, the pastor at Merced UMC and Steve Elliott, our Conference Disaster Response Coordinator. The Merced Church took 138 food boxes over to Lodi. The church produces these 40-pound boxes for their ongoing food distribution ministry.
The Conference Disaster Response Ministry mobilized an Early Response Team. These ERTs teamed with Lodi church volunteers to serve 100 households with food, gift cards, cleaning supplies and hygiene kits. The combined team also assisted 14 households with repairs and cleanup.
This combined effort of two local churches and the Conference ministry provided prompt relief to many grateful residents. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also came to offer onsite claim filing, to do damage assessments, and answer questions about their services. While this one-day response does not solve the continuing challenge of damage to their homes, vehicles, and property, it does serve as one hopeful step on the road to recovery.