Just to keep you a bit up to date, we have had several families who were affected by the tornado come by for gluten free food. I am really realizing the scope of how this disease runs in families. I had always hear it was about 10-15 percent of family members with Celiacs but the majority of the people that I have given out food to on behalf of the generous folks that have donated gluten free food to Joplin have a parent and at least one child and in one case three children and a parent who are Celiacs or gluten intolerant. I am wondering what is the experience of the folks who are reading this blog? Are you seeing a single person with Celiacs or are you seeing that several people in the family have it?
I have not been in to the Mission Joplin yet this week but will get food to them in the next couple of days.
A friend and I went to coffee yesterday with a couple other friends and we drove down 26th street (along the path of the tornado). The desolation is still massive of course, but you see where a tremendous amount of work has been done to clear the debris. But it is so very hard to see how they could possibly meet the deadline. Our city manager said a couple of days ago on the 1 month anniversary of the storm, that 25% of the debris had been removed. We must have it removed by August 7th. That is not much time for all this "huge" mess that just goes on and on for miles.
Friday, June 24, 2011
I also stopped at a Lutheran Church in the south end of Joplin that I had passed many times, noticing that they were doing quite a few things for the community. They are feeding people, they had truckloads of mattresses they were giving to people whose homes and possessions were demolished and they have a medical clinic with nurses and doctors to treat people who were hurt in the tornado and also those who get hurt while working in the Tornado ravished areas. They were very nice when I mentioned that we had a Celiac Support group and we had gluten free food to donate if they needed it. I had put a small box of mixed items in my car in case there was anyone there that needed it. They also all knew what I was talking about as it turns out their pastor is Celiac. He has been having a a difficult time as he is working such long hours ministering to tornado victims and cannot eat most of the food that is prepared for workers and victims. I gave them what i had with me and will take some more up there soon. They said they have had several asking for gluten free food. I was very happy to be able to get the donations to folks who are in need because of this devastating tornado.
Well this morning I set out with some boxes of a variety of gluten free food in my car to restock the gf food pantry at Mission Joplin (a ministry of forest Park Baptist Church)I was surprised to find that they had moved it to a different area. I spoke to several of the volunteers there and they are all gluten free savvy and definitely are only giving that food to those people that need gluten free. They are getting coolers in the room where our food is and so if we need to keep something cooler we would be able to store that there. I was also surprised to see that about half the food had been used. They said they have had several families who have needed gluten free. So we filled in the gaps with a variety of foods that generous people and groups had sent.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Tomorrow I am expecting two Celiac ladies to come by for food. And if i can get it all scheduled in I will make sure the gluten free shelves at the Mission Joplin are stocked. I am feeling better but still limping and walking with a cane but I know of two other churches that are doing a big work to folks in the community and I will try to get to those and see if they have had requests for gluten free food. Mike (my husband) made me some cards today so I can leave them a few of those to give to people they may come across that will need gluten free food. The FEMA trailers and modular homes are beginning to come in so I will do some phone work to investigate that avenue to reach the gluten intolerant next week.
As some of you know Mike's place of work was lost in the storm and they are not rebuilding at least right away but he will be starting a temporary job related to tornado recovery so he will have the car after next week. I will have to do more by phone. And we have a couple of our people in our Celiac support group who have offered to help if I need it. I will probably need it. For now our supplies are ok but I will put the word out on this blog if we have needs that can't be met with what we have or what is still coming in. We got some boxes of food today from the gluten intolerant support group in SE Iowa. We have had several support groups that have sent food...SanDiego, Ca, Ohio, and Alabama. Also CSA sent a box or two and CDFA sent food. So sorry if I did not mention your group I am just typing this off the top of my head and my memory is not the greatest. These of course are in addition to a number of vendors and several individuals. I should not have begun naming folks without my lists...I am going to get myself in trouble. :~ good night all
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Good afternoon! It's been awhile since I have posted.While we have given out many boxes of food on behalf of the Celiac community it has been quiet around here much of this week so far. We have contacted all the gluten intolerant people we know of and have given food to many of them. We are still convinced that there are more Gluten intolerant folks than we have been able to find. It is quite challenging to figure out how to reach the Celiacs who have no home or car or communications. It's really just about impossible. We continue to put the word out there in various places and feel that eventually all who need this food will find us or we will find them.
I do have a couple of ideas of places to contact among the groups who are serving people that I have just learned of. Will contact them this afternoon or tomorrow. I am without a car today and feel that it would be best if I went to a couple of these places...so they will wait for tomorrow.
As I have said a number of times....the situation here will not resolve in a short time. They have been making a lot of progress with clean up. But there is very long way to go.
It is probably a very good thing that things have been slow here at GF Food Pantry South :) as I have had a particularly bad few days and could barely walk yesterday.(Doing better today) Because my Celiacs was not diagnosed in a timely manner I developed several other auto immune diseases and I think the lupus has been flaring this week.Lots of pain in joints and muscles and deep exhaustion. But as I say, today things seem to be improving. I will try to keep you updated .
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
One of the ladies in our SW Mo Celiac Support Group in Joplin, Dana just did a wonderful interview on the 5:00 News on KSN about the Celiac group and all the generous and thoughtful Celiacs, gluten intolerant folks and vendors around the country that have sent gluten free food for those who need it in Joplin.
We wanted to make sure that we got the word out to the community as there may be gluten free people that still really need some of the food that others are sharing. It was a good way to both let the community know about our group and also get the word to those we may not have reached already.
Great idea Dana and you did such a good job!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
This is a long set of pictures of the aftermath. If it depresses you too much please don't watch it. Posting it because some people are still trying to get an idea of how it is here. There is no picture that really tells the story but these give a pretty good idea.
Well, it seems that I am a pretty sorry blogger. I used to love to write my thoughts and ideas but have gotten out of practice these past few years. I usually just write them in notebooks around my home and not on the computer for who knows who to read.
A friend of Celiacs from Kentucky sent us many boxes of gluten free mixes today for the Celiacs of this city. I'm not sure if it is a good thing to mention brand names on a blog like this but when these kind vendors care enough to send their product to us we should mention them so I will tell that there are many cases of Bloomfield mixes in my dining room waiting to be put in boxes to go gluten free folks as they get some kind of housing...whether it be a FEMA trailer or a temporary home with friends or relatives or in the case of a few into a home they can buy in other parts of the city. One of our ladies said that she had just done their shopping the day before the tornado and now all that gluten free food they bought was destroyed or blown away.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Our listing in rebuildjoplin.org has already begun to help us find more of the Celiac and gluten intolerant folks in Joplin. We had a call this afternoon from a young woman who was just diagnosed with Celiac disease last month and was given a sheet of paper with her instructions. They lived in the path of the tornado, not far from the destroyed high school. Their home was destroyed too.
She is not only trying to figure out what this disease is and what a gluten free diet consists of but they have been trying to rummage through the pile of rubble that was once her home. She, her husband and their children are staying with her brother in a nearby community. She was at a loss about what to eat and I tried to give her some pointers about Celiac disease as well as a good size box of gluten free foods. She seemed interested in the Support Group too. I think she can learn a lot from the other young ladies in the group. She is searching the internet while she is at her brothers and there are so many good Celiac sites on there. I don't personally know how I would have managed if I did not have a computer in 1999 when I was first diagnosed.
Thanks to you all who have made sure that there were gluten free foods available to help at this time.
Two little Celiac boys were here with their Mom this morning and hoped for some gluten free snacks to take to the various summer activities so they would have something to eat when the other kids had their snacks. We were able to help them out now as their parents try to get back to normal living in what feels like "war torn" Joplin.
Friday, June 10, 2011
I went into Mission Joplin to restock the Gluten free shelves there this morning and they have moved the shelves into a room that has some air-conditioning. I think that is a good thing as we have some food items that are sensitive to the heat. Also people who do not really need gluten free food would not be taking these things. People will have to ask for the gluten free food but those working there are aware that it is there and will point gluten intolerant and Celiacs to the appropriate shelves. We are now also listed on the rebuildjoplin.org website. More later.....
Thursday, June 9, 2011
Just sadness, overwhelming sadness is the feeling you get when you go into town.
We live 12 blocks south of the path of the tornado and you would not even know there was anything out of order from our street. But this afternoon I decided to go into Price-Cutters to get some chops or something for dinner. I went in Connecticut to 26th St and turned west to the grocery store. Seems boring and innocent doesn't it? It is just devastating! Things have gotten so much better as all the main streets have been cleared and some people are finding places to live but when you get in there you realize it will be a long long time before things are anywhere near right. The path of this storm was so long and so wide. You go for block after block, mile after mile and you are still in the area where almost every home is just a pile of rubble and blocks for as far as you can see are just piles of rubble.
It is so sad to see the families out there still sorting through the piles looking for any memento or possession. I saw on the news today that a lady turned over a board and found her cat,alive, that had been buried for 16 days!
However there are still lots of groups helping people out. You see them everywhere.
One of our support group, Dana, has been working hard to get the word out there about the donations of gluten free food so we can be sure to reach everyone who is in real need. We have had an invitation to be on the 5:00 news on local TV on the 15th. Hope I don't sound like a dithering idiot!
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Our Celiac Support Group, Southwest Missouri Celiac Support Group Joplin , has been meeting since last August. We had agreed to take the summer off as several have young children and are pretty busy this time of the year. But as things have turned out, we are actually seeing each other quite a bit. Many were significantly affected by the tornado and because of the generous Gluten free community and vendors we are able to get gluten free food to them.
We are so grateful to the folks that are remembered the specific struggle of the Celiacs at a time like this.
Well, I think this would be good time to take some pictures and learn to put them on this netbook and then on the blog. It is going to be a little boring with just my ramblings and not even any pictures. Hopefully in the next week or so I will get time to experiment and put some other things on the blog.
We had a new vendor contact us today and will be shipping some cases of their mixes.
I think some people are finding homes to live in after the destruction of theirs. There has been a housing boom in Joplin this week. So many are looking for homes...some will rebuild after the land is cleared but many are buying existing homes in areas outside the path of this tornado. I suppose even in such a great disaster there are positives. So some will be getting back to baking so as they try to restock their kitchens we may be able to help a little. Goodnight to all.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Right now it seems as if we are doing pretty well. The Mission Joplin pantry was refreshed yesterday afternoon. I came right home after church this morning as I have a terrible sinus infection (got some antibiotics this afternoon. It was kind of hard getting hold of my doctor as his office was blown away completely. The St John's Hospital (they have a huge tent now...it looks like "Mash" over there) contacted him and had him call me. he has been able to keep his sense of humor in all this. My pharmacist (at Sam's) told me that when Dr Knapp called in the prescription he asked if they had any log cabin kits at Sam's that he could put together and use for a temporary office.;)
We have a good selection of food here at the house but I know of three people who are coming over tomorrow. I will let you know if they leave some gaps. One of the ladies coming is the one I told Johnna about that lost her hero son ( the young manager at Pizza Hut who held the door to the freezer closed with a bungee cord so 12 lives were saved but he was finally blown away. Pam also lost her house and her possessions. She has Celiacs and had been existing on the little gummy bear fruit things that she knew was safe. I spoke to her today and she and her husband will be over here tomorrow evening. She did say that she was able to pick up a few things at Mission Joplin. She was amazed to see the gluten free croutons on the shelves there.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
We've been checking on the Gluten Free Food Pantry at "Mission Joplin" (otherwise known as the bus barn at Forest park Baptist Church) every day.
I've discovered three people working as volunteers there that are really familiar with gluten free. The young couple who are overseeing Mission Joplin must be gluten free and there was another young man who asked me if he could help me when I went up to the gf shelves and when i explained that I was there to check to make sure there were enough gluten free products he told me that his sister was Celiac with very serious reactions to gluten.
So i feel little better that the gluten free foods are going to those who really need them. So many folks are sending these special foods to us for the devastated Joplin Celiacs.
And my oh my,but it is so devastating when you drive through town. The church is at the other end of town from our home and so since they have cleared all the major roads I try to come home a different way each time. So very many of our landmarks are gone. Three schools are gone and at least a couple others are damaged. So very many businesses are just nowhere to be found. I think many of the larger businesses are going to rebuild but many of the smaller businesses are not . It will surely impact the make up of the city. There are so many things I could talk on about the tornado and how it is affecting the people of Joplin but this is really a gluten free blog and not a Joplin tornado blog so i will give you a break. But I must say it consumes our thoughts much of the time.
A couple of days ago a lady called and she was worried about her 72 yr old friend who had been out trying to sift through the rubble that had once been his brother and sister in laws home. He has Celiac disease and told her of the service groups and churches that are taking all kinds of foods around to people in what once were neighborhoods but of course he could not eat any of that. She had heard our announcement on the radio and wondered if we could take him some gluten free food to snack on while he was trying to recover some of his families possessions. I fixed a small box and Mike went over to try to find the address that the lady had given us. He could not find Oscar (the mans name) and he said, "Rita you just don't understand what it was like over there and it's all rubble and you can't tell one house from another." I worried about that man and went myself the next morning. And just as it was with Mike, I could not find him. Sure hope he was able to get some gf snacks on his own. It makes me so sad to think of all this food that folks have shared and that man not being able to have some.
Well tomorrow is another day and we will do the best we can to help those who need us.
Good night all, Rita
Well tomorrow is another day and we will do the best we can to help those who need us.
Good night all, Rita
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Hi to all you kind souls who care about Joplin and our Celiac/Gluten Intolerant community....displaced as we may be.
We just helped another Mom but this time she is the only one in her family that has Celiac disease. She has a husband and four children.They were right in the middle of the tornado and lost their home and two cars and all their possessions. They had a small cellar and all of them were in it as the powerful tornado destroyed everything around them. The folks in this situation have so many decisions to make. And unfortunately they must be made quickly. Temporary housing is difficult to come by right now. Did I mention that we have had 6700 houses destroyed! Kari and her husband don't want to make a too hasty decision.....Well anyway because of you generosity we are able to help her eat while she and her family stay with friends. Goodnight friends....Rita