OBI Reaches Milestone with Food Delivery

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Operation Blessing International will celebrate another milestone this week - the delivery of one billion pounds of food and relief since its start in 1992.

OBI leaders say the milestone is a "tremendous" achievement. The group is now one of the largest charities in America.

"What Dr. Robertson started as a local effort to assist the poor in Tidewater, Va., has grown into a worldwide humanitarian organization offering not only hunger relief, but clean water, medical services, disaster relief and a myriad of programs for orphans and at-risk children," OBI president Bill Horan said.

Click play to see how OBI is helping families struggling financially in the U.S.

OBI's "Hunger Strike Force" delivers more than 2 million pounds of free food and other items a week to community programs throughout the country.

Quick Disaster Response

The charity's tractor trailers have also been some of the first to arrive during past disasters, including Hurricanes Ike and Katrina and the 2004 tsunami in India.

After Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar last year, OBI was able to enter the country even after Burma authorities had blocked the aid of several international groups.

OBI was able to get food and water to victims, and to help restore power to parts of the affect areas. The group purchased three months worth of fuel to run 40 generators that pumped fresh water to some 20,000 people a day.

In China, OBI stayed to help survivors rebuild, long after the country was devastated by an earthquake last May. David Darg, OBI assistant director of international programs, said crews worked around the clock, unloading bricks by hand and laying cement for new homes and buildings.

OBI also funded the building of a school and dormitory in Sichuan Province to replace the one that collapsed and killed 300 students during the quake.

Economy Taking Its Toll

Despite its success, the dwindling economy has drastically affected the charity. OBI says it has seen a 343 percent increase in requests from food pantries and is "struggling" to keep up.

"There have always been some hungry people in America, but never as many as we are seeing now," Horan said. "Folks who have never had to ask for help before are turning to churches and relief agencies for help in feeding their families."

Currently, the group is operating primarily off the efforts of major donors like Rich Products Corporation, which increased it's food donations last year to keep up with demand.

Want to know how you can help Operation Blessing provide relief to millions across the globe? Click here to donate.

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