Washington, D.C., Hundreds of supermarkets recovering from Hurricane Katrina need immediate help to prepare their stores for the return of families who evacuated their communicates the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) said yesterday, responding to requests from Congress and the Department of Homeland Security for disaster relief recommendations.
FMI provided Congress a list of industry needs. The most important immediate requests include: Restore communications to serve America’s neediest so retailers can accept food stamps, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program vouchers and other government benefits. Expedite the removal of debris and provide security for employees and shoppers in stores and along distribution routes. Allocate fuel to supermarkets and wholesalers on a priority basis to ensure that food and other essential goods are delivered quickly to stores in disaster relief areas. Offer incentives for companies to hire displaced workers, including the newly homeless and people without verifiable paperwork. Provide the necessary inoculations, vaccines and boosters to food industry employees in infected disaster areas.