Highlands County Meals Ready to Eat distribution continues at various locations around the county

Posted at 5:29 PM, Sep 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-18 04:57:01-04

Many people in Highlands County are still in unbearable conditions, many without the basics. The need is widespread, but some relief is here.

“If you have elderly or children with you, you do panic,” Holly Galarno said. She has her mother, niece and nephew with her as she collects some basic necessities at South Florida State College in Avon Park. Galarno is one of many people who has lived without power or supplies for days.

“This is helpful yes, this is something that we can just pop and eat I mean yeah everyone wants a hot meal but when you’re in a situation like this, any meal helps no matter what it is,” Galarno said.

Sunday, Highlands County and the Florida National Guard helped nearly 3,000 carloads of people, running out of bottled water at about 10:30 am. They continued handing out meals, ice and tarps. A week after Hurricane Irma’s worst, some people in line are still up against brutal conditions.

“None of us have power I mean we’re using generators or whatever but it’s still not like AC when you have kids and babies, it’s frustrating,” Aisha Munnings said.

But in one of Florida’s hardest hit counties, the human spirit is stronger than any storm.

“I have a barbeque pit and I cooked for a week, the whole neighborhood came and cooked at my house,” James Kerney said.

The day-to-day essentials handed out are making a difference.

“Having this means the world to a lot of people, not just my family, but everyone,” Galarno said.

The hope is to have more water to hand out Monday morning, starting at 7 a.m. and ending at 7p.m.

Distribution of water and MREs are available at the following locations:

Highlands County Health Department (parking lot)

7205 South George Blvd

Sebring, FL 33875


Old Winn-Dixie Parking Lot

110 Plaza Avenue

Lake Placid, FL 33852


South Florida State College

600 West College Drive

Avon Park, FL. 33825


Residents can get 2 cases of water and 1 case of MRE’s per vehicle.