The American Red Cross has donated a 53-foot kitchen trailer to Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief (IBDR).
“Southern Baptists are excellent partners,” said Dave Stoner, a Red Cross logistics volunteer. “We wanted to give this unit to them as a gift because they prepare a lot of meals in disaster relief areas.”
IBSA’s Dwayne Doyle and two IBDR volunteers were onsite in Peoria to receive the unit.
Over the years, the Red Cross and Southern Baptists have often worked hand-in-hand after disasters. While the Red Cross once prepared meals, they have, in recent years, focused more on food delivery while Southern Baptists provide much of the food.
“By giving them this kitchen, they will have more versatility,” Stoner said. “A mobile feeding area is more reliable than a fixed location that maybe isn’t as close as they might need to a disaster.”
IBDR previously has been able to serve 25,000 meals daily with their units; the new trailer will provide an additional 10,000 daily meals.
The gift is “an extreme blessing,” said Doyle, IBDR state coordinator. “This mobile kitchen is going to help multiply our capacity of serving meals, and will allow us to better provide comfort during disaster relief.”
Harold Booze, an assistant director for IBDR, said the gift will not only mean more meals, but also more convenience. “It even has a freezer and a walk-in refrigerator,” Booze said. “Typically, IBDR doesn’t have feeding units with this kind of setup that we’re receiving from Red Cross.”
“Southern Baptists serve as key partners with American Red Cross,” Doyle said. “As they are phasing out of the food preparation side, their gift allows us to focus on preparing meals in a more convenient manner.”
Photo: Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief’s new 53-foot mobile kitchen includes three tilt skillets,
two convection ovens, and a 60-quart mixer.