Minnesota group's half-million meals among aid headed to Philippines


A Minnesota relief agency says it has already sent half-a-million dehydrated meals to typhoon survivors in the Philippines and is preparing another 2.5 million.

WCCO reports Feed My Starving Children is working with three other Christian humanitarian groups that have networks in the Philippines. Feed My Starving Children's director of international programs says the food crisis in the country will last for months. In addition to the millions of people left homeless by the storm, the typhoon also wiped out the rice and coconut crops that are vital to the Philippines, Matt Muraski says.

The reports from the islands are grim. The Associated Press describes bloated corpses littering the city of Tacloban as survivors scrounge for food and plead for a spot on one of the airplanes leaving the area. Reporters say four days after the typhoon struck little assistance has arrived, calling it a trickle.

Information about survivors is similarly slow to emerge. Filipino-Americans in Minnesota are anxiously awaiting word from family members. One of those is Maria Lazaro-Elemos of Rochester. She told KAAL there were typically 20 to 40 storms or typhoons per year when she was growing up in the Philippines. But none had the power of Typhoon Haiyan.

KSTP spoke with the pastor of the Filipino American Christian Church in Mounds View, Roberto Atienza, who has a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins in Tacloban, where casualties have been estimated at 10,000.

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