Florida National Guard lends helping hand to those impacted by Idalia

Posted at 6:38 PM, Sep 01, 2023
  • The Florida Army National Guard gave over 33,000 meals to people impacted by Idalia.
  • The point of distribution site was one of many in the big bend.
  • Food and ready to go meals were provided to those who showed up since 7a.m. Friday morning.


“Basically blessed. I mean more than anything because it could’ve been worse… but it is a disaster.”

Friday morning, cars lined up, wrapping around the Taylor County high school bus loop for food distribution.

The point of distribution site, also known as pod site, was stationed here in Perry.

The site was held by the Florida army national guard.

48 soldiers helped by packing cars with essential needs like water and meals ready to eat.

First lieutenant James Smith is one of those soldiers.

He says it felt great helping the community.

“It’s always a great feeling to help our neighbors, our fellow Floridians, especially in times of need. It’s great to get out amongst people, especially when people are hurting.”

It was something that was appreciated by those impacted.

“You couldn’t do it without them and their quick response. They’re living on cots and MRE’s and going through hard times themselves just to support us and trying to make our life a little bit better.”

That’s John Osteen, a retired military soldier, who’s dealing with the impacts of Idalia.

“We’re fortunate. For some reason we had 15 trees fall at our house, and they fell all directions, but nothing hit the house.”
Osteen says he remains thankful.

“We felt very fortunate to, number one, still have a home.”

Since seven Friday morning, there's been over 300 cars that came by.

It was something that filled military veteran and storm victim, Alphonso Scott, with joy.

“God bless you all, thank you, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”