A 7.8 magnitude earthquake, centered in coastal Ecuador, rocked the country Saturday. The quake left thousands injured and homeless. At least 400 people were reported dead and over 200 are reported missing after this massive quake.
As international aid organizations rush to bring relief to the people impacted by the quake, a Lubbock-based non profit was also pulling out the stops to send food to Ecuador.
Breedlove Foods is a humanitarian organization which regularly ships large quantities of dehydrated food to other humanitarian organizations like USAID. Monday, Breedlove announced plans to send a 40-foot container filled with one million servings of their high protein Lentil Blend of dehydrated food.
Breedlove interim CEO Brad Bouma explained that some employees asked if their organization would be doing something to help out in Ecuador. At the time Bouma wasn’t sure what would be possible.
“Very providentially, about an hour later, one of our partners who’ve we’ve worked with in Ecuador before called Dr. Elbia Galo and asked for assistance,” Bouma explained.
Breedlove immediately made plans to ship food out to that partner organization: the Ecuadorian Evangelical Christian and Ministry Alliance.
Breedlove was able to arrange for a shipment quickly because of reserve funds that were set aside, but it will still be a large expense. Breedlove welcomes donations either in person at its Lubbock-based building or on the Breedlove website http://www.breedlove.org/ .
Tuesday they began packing food to send to Ecuador, sending ingredients through the 8-10 hour process to dehydrate them. The food is then packaged and labeled. Breedlove designed special labels for this shipment of food, depicting hearts connecting outlines of Texas and Ecuador.
“We sure want them to know that Breedlove cares, that Lubbock cares, that the United States cares about what’s transpired in their world,” Bouma said. “And little things like that, little touches are really helpful in communicating that. Our staff cares our people are excited about getting this up and running and getting this done today.”
Bouma explained that once the food is delivered, Breedlove will keep in touch with their partner organization in Ecuador to make sure it’s distributed properly. They may even deliver more food if it’s needed.
“The devastation as we see on the news today is ongoing and so are rescue efforts and all those things, but the population is going to have food issues ongoing for months and months in the future,” Bouma explained.
That’s why they are aiming to have their shipment arrive in Ecuador as soon as possible: in the next 3 weeks.