MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Relief efforts for the Bahamas, big and small, are not slowing down across South Florida.
Thursday morning, a massive yacht bound for the Bahamas with tons of food and supplies is hoping to leave Fort Lauderdale.
Workers with World Central Kitchen, headed by renowned Chef Jose Andres, worked late into the night Wednesday filling the 227-foot yacht with food, fuel, and other much-needed supplies.
“We’re going to be cooking as well as sending supplies to our kitchens on the mainland,” said Jason Collis, Director of Procurement for World Central Kitchen.
Andres and his team, who provided 4 million meals to victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, are already on the ground in the Bahamas.
Carnival Corporation has partnered with Tropical Shipping, which will serve as an approved clearinghouse and distribution center for non-profit organizations, schools, businesses and residents of Broward County, Miami-Dade County, and Palm Beach County to deliver donated food and goods collected in the local South Florida community.
Norwegian Cruise Lines announced the relaunch of Hope Starts Here, the company’s hurricane relief campaign in partnership with All Hands and Hearts, and pledged a minimum commitment of $1 million toward immediate short-term relief for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.
The company has also vowed to match donations dollar-for-dollar to assist with rebuilding efforts across the Bahamas, including debris cleanup and removal, and the delivery of supplies and temporary shelters.
“Our hearts are heavy after witnessing the impact and devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian across the Bahamas,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “We have been cruising to these islands for over 50 years and remain committed to its wonderful people during this unprecedented event. Through our partnership with All Hands and Hearts, we vow to match all donations collected to support the country’s rebuilding efforts.”
Royal Caribbean is also committing $1 million to Dorian disaster relief, and their partners, ITM, which is developing the Grand Lucayan resort in Freeport, is also donating an additional $100,000.
Royal Caribbean is also loading supplies, including generators, water, cleaning supplies, clean sheets, towels, and more, into their ships for direct delivery to the Bahamas. The company’s GO Team are on their way to assist with relief efforts.
Disney Cruise Lines has also pledged $1 million in disaster relief.
American Airline sent a Boeing 737 packed with supplies to Nassau to assist their employees in the Bahamas.
Trucks full of donated items are being loaded daily.
“Three truckloads today, probably two more tomorrow,” a trucker says.
Volunteers at major collection points throughout South Florida are sorting the contributions from the many locations here in South Florida.
Everything from canned goods, dry goods, tarps, and the all-important water.
Eddy Cora says, “Tomorrow, containers for ships will be coming in. We will load ‘em up and off on the way to the Bahamas.”
All donations are important, but donated pallets are coveted by relief organizers.
“We really need the pallets to load up water, load up supplies for shipping to the Bahamas,” said Dona Tanner.
“We’ve got water, baby diapers, juices, building supplies, food, charcoal, something to cook with,” Cora said.
So it looks like donated supplies from the Greater St Paul’s AME Church in Coconut Grove are getting to the ravaged northern Bahamian islands.
“The first wave of medical supplies, water, food, insect repellent has already landed and the pilots are on their way back,” said Rev. Nathanial Robinson.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)