The gulf coast region has been hit hard by two major hurricanes and is going to need federal assistance at several levels, ... The best way to make sure that the resources are targeted properly is for us to see this area firsthand. I am pleased that members from both sides of the aisle share my commitment to making sure that the relief effort is targeted and managed as efficiently as possible.
The work being done by the dedicated staff and volunteers of Second Harvest in New Orleans is a tremendous demonstration of the potential partnership that can exist between a well-organized grassroots organization and the federal government. Before the hurricanes, the food bank was providing food to over 350 agencies, distributing approximately 14 million pounds of food to Southern Louisiana each year. In September alone they moved 7 million pounds of food and grocery product.
I don't think anyone can possibly imagine the impact these hurricanes have had on the region and on production agriculture unless they see it firsthand, ... We saw fields flattened by winds and inundated by salt water. We heard accounts of homes swept from their foundations and we saw trees broken like toothpicks. Of course, the full story can only be told by those whose lives and livelihoods have been forever altered by these storms.