Sugarcane growers across the South stepped up to help their friends and neighbors after hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
They delivered food, water, a truckload of sugar and even set up a phone-charging station as communities recovered without electricity and other basic needs in the days after the storms.
On Sept. 13, in Florida, the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative and Florida Crystals teamed with Home Depot, Christ Fellowship, the Palm Beach County Food Bank and others to provide about 2,500 meals and a truckload of bottled water to Glades residents hit by Irma, according to the Palm Beach Post.
The group also set up a station to recharge mobile phone batteries.
Employees of U.S. Sugar provided similar services and helped with clean up in Clewiston, where the company is headquartered.
In Texas, the Louisiana sugar industry delivered a truckload of sugar on Sept. 21 to resupply the Houston Food Bank after Harvey.
Louisiana Sugar Refining (LSR) of Gramercysuppliedeight pallets of sugar and the ASR Group sent eight pallets from its refinery in Chalmette.
"We know the great community need that occurs after a catastrophic event like Hurricane Harvey, and we were very happy to be able to supply food products to the residents of Houston during this time of need," said Peter O'Malley, ASR Group's Vice President of Corporate Relations.
And it’s not the first time Louisianans stepped up when needed.
"LSR and ASR Group teamed up in 2016 when the Baton Rouge Food Bank was flooded,” said LSR’s Lonnie Champagne. "There was more involved logistically to put a truckload of sugar to ship to Texas, but the Cajun Navy set such a good example, we felt it was the right thing to do.”
It wasn’t just truckloads of sugar heading to Texas either. The Florida Sugar Cane League and Rio Grande Valley Sugar Growers also joined forces to send a truck full of bottled water to Beaumont, Texas, after the hurricane knocked out the city’s water system.
At the American Sugar Alliance, we are proud of the generosity and support that our members always show in times of need. And, the fact that our colleagues in Florida are lending a helping hand while recovering from their own hurricane damage is all the more humbling.