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Oklahoma volunteers are honored for hurricane relief work

An Oklahoma Southern Baptist relief team was honored in New Jersey for helping after Hurricane Sandy.
BY CARLA HINTON Published: November 27, 2012

The disaster relief team's kitchen, which has a capacity for turning out 35,000 meals a day, has served 64,535 meals since it began operating in Middletown Nov. 5.

On Nov. 19, the team prepared 6,000 meals for American Red Cross emergency response vehicles to deliver into the community.

Porter said about 100 Oklahoma Baptist volunteers served in New Jersey, and most members of the group were expected to return home on Monday. He said about a dozen volunteers are still in New Jersey helping with flood recovery efforts.

Porter said several Oklahoma Baptist volunteer teams of about 20 people will be rotated in and out of the storm-ravaged New Jersey until January.

In addition to the gratitude expressed by Middletown residents, Porter said he loved the ecumenical cooperation. He said the Oklahoma volunteers ate and slept at New Monmouth Baptist Church but were allowed to place their portable kitchen — which covers nearly an acre — on the property of a Catholic church across the street.

In the four days before the American Red Cross arrived to deliver the meals cooked by Baptist volunteers, Porter said, the Middletown Ministerial Alliance helped provide vans from the city's various churches so food could be distributed that way.