Putnam deputies cook hurricane food

After power outages caused by Hurricane Irma left food spoiled at Bread of Life in Palatka and prevented the soup kitchen from opening Monday and Tuesday, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office donated Meals Ready to Eat and snacks Wednesday and had a cookout on Thursday.

“Not knowing how long our deputies would be working and what meals would be available, we purchased extra food to feed them,” Sheriff’s office Col. Joe Wells said. “We ended up not needing as much as we purchased and decided to donate the frozen food.”

Wells said Wednesday deputies and volunteers opened Bread of Life and distributed meals, water and nonperishable snacks.

“Some people have not had a meal in a couple of days,” Wells said.

Wells said deputies canvassed the neighborhood around Bread of Life to alert the homeless and those without power that food was available and volunteers would be grilling Thursday.

On Thursday morning, deputies manned a large grill, cooking a portion of the meat. The rest will be cooked today.

Volunteers from Bread of Life, deputies and the Rotary Club of Palatka Sunrise handed out hot meals, water and juice to everyone who appeared. Deputies also delivered food to those unable to drive.

Tanje Powell picked up meals for herself and her mother.

Powell said she lost power at her Oleander Drive residence on Sunday, and all of her food spoiled.

“My mother and I are diabetic and on dialysis,” Powell said. “We lost food and had to throw stuff out.”

Lorine Taylor and Gloria Mashatt also have been without power since Sunday.

“We had to throw out all of our food,” Taylor said.

Deputies brought more than 130 pounds of hot dogs, 80 pounds of chicken breasts and 120 pounds of hamburgers.

Wells said food not prepared Thursday would be cooked Friday.

Putnam County Tax Collector Linda Myers said the goal was to keep Bread of Life open through Saturday with supplies donated to replace food lost.