Red Cross feeds hungry, Walmart provides water, ice

By: David Bradley - Staff writer
Diane Miller was one of the first of the long line of residents getting free meals from the Red Cross Friday at the Wal-Mart on Elizabethtown Road.
Robert Jones, from Waterloo, Iowa, dips into a freshly-cooked batch of English peas as he preps another free hot lunch for the waiting line at Wal-Mart Friday.
Horace Fields, left, gets a special delivery of water from Lumberton Master Firefighter Willie Stewart, and Missy Robinson from Wal-Mart. Fields has been getting low on water, and he said it was nice to have this giveaway in time of need. “Trust in the Lord,” Fields said. “The Lord is still with us.”
The line built for a free meal Friday as Early Locklear waited patiently for his turn. Locklear and his wife lost all their food in the aftermath of the flood from Florence, and looked forward to their first hot meal in days from the Red Cross feeding truck in the Elizabethtown Road Wal-Mart parking lot.
Two Wal-Mart 18 wheeler trucks full of bottled water and ice were open to provide the neighborhood with needed supplies Friday. Lumberton Fire Department personnel assisted Wal-Mart employees to keep the lines moving.
Shania Judd, left, rides the Wal-Mart cart as her mother, Nichole Pittman-Judd, gets some bottled water and ice from the trucks in the parking lot. “It’s a blessing,” Pittman-Judd said. “We lost power and water for six days.”
Robert Jones, Tom Hess, and Nina Kranz, left to right, get the feeding line started with the Red Cross Friday afternoon at the Elizabethtown Road Wal-Mart. The three, all from Iowa and Michigan, provided hot meals to the community suffering after the loss of power and water to the area.

LUMBERTON — The wait for a free hot meal grew longer Friday as Early Locklear, who lost all his food in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, waited patiently with his wife for lunch from a Red Cross disaster relief feeding truck in the Elizabethtown Road Neighborhood Walmart parking lot.

Locklear joined many residents who had lost their homes, businesses and the essentials of life during this most recent storm. The meal consisted of a choice of meats, beef or chicken, rice, peas, fruit, and potato chips.

“I lost all my food,” Locklear said. “The water was floating up through the floor. We ran out of water for four days.”

Locklear couldn’t get water from the faucet, so he resorted to an old-fashioned method.

“We had an old hand pump from a well,” Locklear said. “That didn’t work either. We did what we had to do to survive.”

The lines for food, water and ice started at 11 a.m., with two packages of bottle water and ice per person. Walmart staff and the Lumberton Fire Department had employees on hand to load baskets to be carried away.

“I haven’t been able to drink in over a week,” Amy Locklear said. “It’s a blessing to get water.”

The county had a boil-water advisory that was dropped on Friday, and the city has urged conservation.

”I don’t trust the water,” Napolean Govan said. “I’d rather be safe than sorry. It means a lot to me to get this.”

“I’m here to get my mom some ice and water,” Andy Jacobs said.

Jacobs’ mother had lost power for a week, and she’s diabetic. After the power went out, everything was destroyed, he said.

“It’s been very difficult,” Jacobs said. “But the Lord has blessed us.”

The Red Cross truck provided hot meals for the line of neighborhood residents that stretched through the parking lot.

“It’s beautiful,” said Brenda Perkins after getting four meals. “When you need it, you get it.”

“When you have nothing in the freezer to cook,” Eliza Jones said, “this is great.”

Jones had lost power for three days during the Florence disaster. From the Matthew experience, she learned to plan ahead.

“I had charcoal, and propane to cook with,” Jones said. “We shared food with others, and gave charcoal to others that had no lights. We planned and prepared, and followed instructions we saw on television.”

Charles Bryant of South Lumberton was also happy with the meal.

“I’m grateful and thankful,” Bryant said. ‘The lights just came on yesterday. I had a lot of spoiled meat to throw away. “

The free meals would help to feed his mother and wife, Bryant said.

“They are a blessing,” Belinda Edwards said as she stood in line. “My whole house is sitting in water, and I can’t get in. I’ve been in the Lumberton High School shelter since last Thursday.”

Edwards was thanking God despite all she had endured.

“I’m thankful for life,” Edwards said. “We did make it through the storm; I know he’ll bring us through recovery.”

Diane Miller was one of the first of the long line of residents getting free meals from the Red Cross Friday at the Wal-Mart on Elizabethtown Road.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence-red-cross-serve-2-reduce_ne2018921144144329-3.jpgDiane Miller was one of the first of the long line of residents getting free meals from the Red Cross Friday at the Wal-Mart on Elizabethtown Road.

Robert Jones, from Waterloo, Iowa, dips into a freshly-cooked batch of English peas as he preps another free hot lunch for the waiting line at Wal-Mart Friday.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence-red-cross-serve-reduce_ne2018921144148328-3.jpgRobert Jones, from Waterloo, Iowa, dips into a freshly-cooked batch of English peas as he preps another free hot lunch for the waiting line at Wal-Mart Friday.

Horace Fields, left, gets a special delivery of water from Lumberton Master Firefighter Willie Stewart, and Missy Robinson from Wal-Mart. Fields has been getting low on water, and he said it was nice to have this giveaway in time of need. “Trust in the Lord,” Fields said. “The Lord is still with us.”
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence-water-wheelchair-man-reduce_ne2018921144152484-3.jpgHorace Fields, left, gets a special delivery of water from Lumberton Master Firefighter Willie Stewart, and Missy Robinson from Wal-Mart. Fields has been getting low on water, and he said it was nice to have this giveaway in time of need. “Trust in the Lord,” Fields said. “The Lord is still with us.”

The line built for a free meal Friday as Early Locklear waited patiently for his turn. Locklear and his wife lost all their food in the aftermath of the flood from Florence, and looked forward to their first hot meal in days from the Red Cross feeding truck in the Elizabethtown Road Wal-Mart parking lot.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence-red-cross-early-reduce_ne201892114436500-3.jpgThe line built for a free meal Friday as Early Locklear waited patiently for his turn. Locklear and his wife lost all their food in the aftermath of the flood from Florence, and looked forward to their first hot meal in days from the Red Cross feeding truck in the Elizabethtown Road Wal-Mart parking lot.

Two Wal-Mart 18 wheeler trucks full of bottled water and ice were open to provide the neighborhood with needed supplies Friday. Lumberton Fire Department personnel assisted Wal-Mart employees to keep the lines moving.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence-water-give-reduce_ne2018921144310710-3.jpgTwo Wal-Mart 18 wheeler trucks full of bottled water and ice were open to provide the neighborhood with needed supplies Friday. Lumberton Fire Department personnel assisted Wal-Mart employees to keep the lines moving.

Shania Judd, left, rides the Wal-Mart cart as her mother, Nichole Pittman-Judd, gets some bottled water and ice from the trucks in the parking lot. “It’s a blessing,” Pittman-Judd said. “We lost power and water for six days.”
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence-water-med-shot-reduce_ne2018921144320511-3.jpgShania Judd, left, rides the Wal-Mart cart as her mother, Nichole Pittman-Judd, gets some bottled water and ice from the trucks in the parking lot. “It’s a blessing,” Pittman-Judd said. “We lost power and water for six days.”

Robert Jones, Tom Hess, and Nina Kranz, left to right, get the feeding line started with the Red Cross Friday afternoon at the Elizabethtown Road Wal-Mart. The three, all from Iowa and Michigan, provided hot meals to the community suffering after the loss of power and water to the area.
https://www.robesonian.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_florence-red-cross-meal-reduce_ne201892114501498-3.jpgRobert Jones, Tom Hess, and Nina Kranz, left to right, get the feeding line started with the Red Cross Friday afternoon at the Elizabethtown Road Wal-Mart. The three, all from Iowa and Michigan, provided hot meals to the community suffering after the loss of power and water to the area.

David Bradley

Staff writer

Reach David Bradley at 910-416-5182 or [email protected]

Reach David Bradley at 910-416-5182 or [email protected]