Good Food and a Helping Hand Sustain Many Through Hurricane Matthew

There’s No Limit to What a Hot Meal Can Mean to a Family


The Salvation Army has provided more than 210,000 meals to those affected by Hurricane Matthew in Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. More than half of those meals have been distributed in communities of the Carolinas.

Twila King and her two sons, JaVaris and JaQuandon, have been the recipients of dozens of those meals. They've been living in Red Cross shelters for more than two weeks, first at West Columbus High in Cerro Gordo, North Carolina, before being moved to a gym in Fair Bluff. The National Guard brought them there on a Sunday night, when the water in their home was up to their knees.

She said she knew it was time to go when the water got high enough that she found her two Pomeranian puppies floating atop the water in her living room.

Since then, her five dogs were taken to a shelter to ride out the rest of the storm and recovery, while Twila and her children would spend the next two weeks, or more, sleeping on cots in the halls of the very high school her son would attend once classes started up again.

“I don’t know where we’d be without The Salvation Army,” she said. “Nowhere good.”

The shelter is run by the Red Cross and The Salvation Army has been providing the shelter with hot meals since the shelter opened. Twila says the food is hot, it provides a sense of stability that her family really needs, and above all, her kids like it and there’s plenty of it!

Captain Cathy Michels and JaQuandon share one of many laughs while at the shelter in Cerro Gordo, NC.
“When we got here, my son was a size 12-Husky. He’s probably gonna be a 14-Husky by the time we leave.”

She said her boys being happy and healthy is what matters most to her. Her son, JaQuandon, has developed a close relationship with Captain Cathy Michels, the emotional and spiritual care officer assigned to the shelter. JaQuandon’s quiet, but he brightens up and falls into energetic play and excited grins when Captain Michels comes around.

This work is about providing families in need with a little bit of comfort. The disaster relief spirit is contagious and everyone can give something. Twila gives back by volunteering to wipe down tables, and prep and serve lunch and dinner at the shelter.

“I just like to be helpful. That’s all. I like to help people whenever I can.”

Please help The Salvation Army continue these efforts by donating at or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

Tags: Disaster Services