Voice of the Consumer: Getting the most bang for the buck with hurricane donations

I know a lot of us want to help the victims of the recent hurricanes, and we have ways to make your dollar go further. I reached out to a trusted, local nonprofit to find out how your donations can make a difference to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. While food banks like Care and Share appreciate any donation, organizers tell me that money donations can be more helpful in these situations because the nonprofits can get exactly what they need.

“The money will allow our counterparts in that area to be able to get water at bulk, or mac and cheese at bulk,” said Shannon Brice, the Chief Development Officer for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado. “So it just gives them the opportunity to respond exactly how they need to, as opposed to dealing with the cards that have been dealt. When you receive stuff from the community, there’s no telling exactly what you’re going to get.”

Care and Share helps provide food to agencies across southern Colorado. Its counterparts in Texas and other areas across the country are helping the victims of the recent hurricanes. If you would like to help, Shannon tells me you can donate through Feeding America or Feedings Texas. Those organizations are able to purchase bulk products for little cost.

“Feeding America has those relationships with the food manufacturers themselves, so we can go and get a truckload of an item that may have a misprint on the label that can be covered up or repackaged in a different way and be given out that’s completely food safe,” said Brice.

For example, recently Care and Share got a truckload of Cheerios because the boxes had a small misprint. The manufacturer mislabeled the product as being gluten free. It was a simple fix for Care and Share.

“The manufacturer didn’t want to reprint all the boxes and put them in a nongluten-free box so it’s simple things like that we’re able to transform,” said Brice. “We’ve gotten Boca Burgers that are vegetarian and have had a misprint on the label. And with a ton of red tape being cut through, we’re able to put a new label on that Boca Burger box and distribute the food.”

We also want to make sure that your hard-earned money isn’t lost to scams that are going around following these devastating storms. We did the homework for you and reached out to our local nonprofits to make sure you are donating to legitimate companies. You can head to our website, kktv.com, and click on the “Help Florida and Texas” button. We have a list of verified organizations and ways you can help. If you think you are dealing with a scam, you can reach out to our 11 Call for Action team at 719-457-8211.

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