MONTROUIS, HAITI (KCBD) - In early October of last year, the already poverty-stricken country of Haiti was hit by Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane, that left a path of destruction caused by high winds and heavy rain.
Rebuilding is slowly underway, but food insecurity continues to be a problem. So two local non-profit organizations partnered together to offer some relief.
Breedlove Foods wanted to send boxes of food to Haiti following the hurricane. They knew that Operation HOPE here in Lubbock had already been doing mission work in the area since 2010, so the two organizations partnered up for this campaign called Hope 2 Haiti.
It's been four months since Hurricane Matthew, and life in Haiti is somewhat back to normal - normal by the standards of this country, where people struggle to find the basics of life.
Running water and electricity are a luxury. Most are thankful just to have a roof over their heads.
Heavy rains and floods from the hurricane caused damage to this fragile infrastructure, and 80 percent of the country's crops were destroyed, destroying the livelihood that many Haitians depend on.
Back here in Lubbock, workers at Breedlove Foods knew they wanted to help.
"If you know anything about Haiti you know it's a poor country anyway, so the need never really stops," Breedlove CEO Bill Miller said.
With a common goal, Breedlove and Operation HOPE formed a partnership to send 450,000 servings of food to Haiti.
Breedlove would package the food. Operation HOPE would be the boots on the ground, making sure the food got where it needed to be.
"We feel like this is a really efficient way to get our product, and what these people work for everyday in the plant, to the people who really need it," Miller said.
So the journey began for these boxes of food, more than 1,500 miles by truck from Lubbock all the way to Florida. Then three days by sea until the food reached a port in Saint Marc, Haiti, earlier this month and was ready to be in the hands of Pastor Gerard Cesar.
"It's a blessing from the blesser, specifically. God really blessed us with this food. We've been waiting for that, and we've been praying for that because, you know the situation of Haiti. The biggest thing, the biggest issue for us in Haiti is the food," Pastor Cesar said.
Pastor Cesar runs New Vision Ministry and oversees seven different schools that double as churches in Haiti.
He says once the food arrived in Saint Marc, it took another five days as each box was taken out and inspected at a holding depot before being transported to Pastor Cesar's home.
Then he and some helpers were able to unload and begin to distribute the food.
"All the pastors come in. Some come in with truck, some come in with the motorcycle. Some come in even with the wheelbarrows to get the food," Pastor Cesar said.
This food sent all the way from Lubbock, will now serve as critical nourishment for people in Haiti, most importantly for children who may not get a meal otherwise.
"The average person gets paid between two or three dollars American a day. But there are some families that have five to seven children. Praise God, our school is free, they send the children to the school. Sometimes they get back to the house, no food. Mama not there, papa not there. No food. Food in Haiti is a precious thing," Pastor Cesar said.
We will have more from this trip Thursday night as we take a look at one of the church services in Haiti, where Sunday school children receive a meal made with food from right here in Lubbock.