The following is a news release from The Port of Lake Charles.
R. Adam McBride, Port Director for the Port of Lake Charles announced that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has started booking shipments through the Port of Lake Charles of Louisiana rice for disaster relief to Haiti with 11,000 tons of rice and other grains arriving at the Port already.
The first booking calls for 4,500 tons of bagged rice which started arriving Saturday, January 16th.The rice was initially purchased as pre-position cargo which is part of the Public Law 480 Title II food aid program. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities by the U.S. Government for humanitarian food needs. The program's purpose is to put cargo into port(s) that are made available to meet extraordinary relief requirements in foreign countries. The Port was notified on Sunday, January 17th of a second shipment consisting of 6,500 tons of rice, in which some of the rice may be bagged at the Port's bagging facility.
"Since the devastating earthquake, the Port has been in contact with government officials, shippers, and ocean carriers offering the Port facilities as a distribution point to get aid into Haiti," said R. Adam McBride Port Director, "USAID informed the Port that these cargoes have been put on the "fast track" to ship through Lake Charles to aid the ongoing efforts to get relief into Haiti", McBride added.
Regarding other activity concerning Haiti relief efforts, McBride has been speaking with representatives of Friend Ships Unlimited, the Lake Charles-based humanitarian relief agency about Port owned warehouse space to receive relief supply.
"Community leaders, labor representatives, Port Commissioners and staff are all working together to provide as much support and help as we possibly can to those stricken by this disaster," McBride said.