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MEDIA ADVISORY-Red Cross 53 – Foot Mobile Feeding Kitchen Comes to South Carolina

FLORENCE, S.C. – On Sunday, May 20 from 9:30 a.m. – noon, the media is invited to experience the Red Cross mobile kitchen, Spirit of America, first-hand as volunteers are trained to manage mass feeding operations during large scale disasters. The Spirit of America training exercise will take place during the Rachel Hodges Leadership Institute on the campus of Francis Marion University, Lot B. 

The exercise is part of a two-day, instructor-led, basic level disaster course designed to give participants the opportunity to learn how to work in a mobile kitchen preparing hot meals for delivery to individuals affected by disasters.

During this exercise, Red Cross volunteers will be cooking meals to feed 500 people thanks to donated food products from Perdue and American Italian Pasta. Once the meals are prepared the volunteers will load them into mobile feeding trucks and will deliver them to five fixed locations throughout Florence. After the exercise, members of the media are invited to eat lunch prepared by the trainees.

Media schedule for Disaster Kitchen Training:

  • 9:30 – 10 a.m.                  opportunity to interview mobile feeding experts
  • 10 – 11 a.m.                      opportunity to capture trainees cooking meals inside the “Spirit of America”
  • 11 – 11:30 a.m.                 opportunity to capture trainees loading food into mobile feeding trucks for delivery
  • 1:30 a.m. – noon              lunch provided to media

 The Spirit of America is a fully self contained 53-foot trailer, designed to produce 30,000 hot “home-style” meals per day within heavily impacted disaster areas. Meals prepared in the unit can then be loaded onto mobile feeding trucks to be distributed to disaster victims throughout affected areas.    

The “Spirit” can operate anywhere – next to a standing building, in a parking lot or even in an open field. The unit can function in a stand-alone mode, or be connected to working community water and electrical systems. It contains potable (fresh) water tanks and wastewater disposal tanks, four propane tanks and a 65kw silent-running generator. The kitchen facilities include three tilt skillets, two stacked convection ovens, a roll-in-rack oven, an industrial size mixer, hot water on-demand system, five stainless steel sinks, and a walk-in refrigerator.

The “Spirit” also carries a pressure washer, a fire suppression system, an electric lift, heating and air conditioning systems, a gas leak detector, and a winterization package. 

Also, during the week there will be various training sessions that will offer great media interview possibilities. The media is welcome to observe and interview participants, volunteers, staff and instructors throughout the week. Click here for a full list of the training classes and course overviews. To coordinate these interviews, please contact Anna Kate Christophillis at (803) 730-5506 or Angela Crosland at (843) 843-206-5579. Click here for more information, about the Rachel Hodges Leadership Institute.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. To make a financial contribution to the Red Cross, please send donations to: The American Red Cross, P.O. Box 91, Columbia, SC 29202. Donations can also be made by visiting or calling (803) 540-1242.  

About Francis Marion University

Francis Marion University is one of South Carolina's 13 public, coeducational universities. As one of the state's six comprehensive institutions, FMU prides itself on providing a strong liberal arts education.

The University offers a broad range of undergraduate degrees and a growing number of graduate programs in serving the needs of communities, businesses and industries of the Pee Dee region.


Last Published: June 5, 2012 3:12 PM
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