Winn parish is reeling from the devastation inflicted by Hurricane Laura last week. Many of the residents are without power and running water. People in the parish’s most rural areas are unable to leave their homes trapped without food and drinking water.
Although the devastation is vast, so is the determination of Winn Parish citizens to help their community. Immediately following the storm people all over the parish could be seen cutting trees in an attempt to clear parish roads.
First United Methodist Church of Winnfield Pastor Kevin Smith and his wife Jana along with volunteers coordinated by Louisiana Logger Association Executive Director Toni McAllister and Winnfield native Kelley Skains began distributing food to the community Saturday afternoon at the farmer’s market in Winnfield. Volunteer have continued to work countless hours to provide food, water, and ice to the parish.
Saturday night, cars full of people lined up at the Winnfield Senior High School to receive a hot meal. Early Saturday morning, the effort began again, this time supplying food, water, and ice. Supplies distributed have been donated by groups like the Cajun Navy, KDF Enterprises, LLC, and American Rescue as well as State Representative Danny McCormick from District 1, who arrived from Caddo Parish with a trailer of water and coolers of ice. The team of volunteers, along with the Winn Parish Police Jurors, also coordinated sending meals out into the parish villages.
“The heart of this community and its citizens just never ceases to amaze me,” stated Winn Parish Police Jury President Josh McAllister.
Meals will be provided daily, although times will be announced as plans are developed. McAllister and Skains keep the community updated via Facebook posts about ongoing efforts and encourage people to check on their neighbors in person as many may not be on social media, and some may not have a way to communicate.