HURRICANE FLORENCE: Counties begin food distribution

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‘We are thankful for the food blessing and we’re still alive — thank God’

WILMINGTON — Half an hour before a food and water distribution site was set to open in downtown Wilmington, lines of cars stretched down Front and Third streets.

Residents — even a few tree-clearing crews — from all over central Wilmington were waiting for bottles of water and boxes of meals ready-to-eat (MREs), to be passed out by workers from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Members of the National Guard were on hand to keep things moving, while staffers piled supplies in a Cape Fear Community College parking lot between Front and Second streets.

Linda Simpson of Wilmington said with the county’s Department of Social Services still closed, she wasn’t sure how to access her food stamp benefits. Food at her home is running out.

“Running low and still waiting on gas and ice,” Simpson said. “We are thankful for the food blessing and we’re still alive — thank God.”

One man named Higgins — “That’s all they call me, just Higgins” — showed up with a cooler strapped to the back of his scooter. He said he has past experience with MREs.

“I was on Hatteras Island when (Hurricane) Matthew hit and that’s all we ate,” he said. “Some of them are good and some of them are bad, but you can eat it or go hungry.”

The county has said three distribution sites will offer food for up to 60,000 each day.

In Brunswick County, MREs, water packets and tarps were being flown in Tuesday to three separate locations around the county: Northwest Park, 1937 Andrew Jackson Highway Northeast; South Brunswick Middle School, 100 Cougar Drive; and Spring Lake Park, 210 Pine Road.

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