Chobani sends Idaho volunteers to Florida to help Hurricane Irma victims

Idaho-based Chobani sent volunteers, and over 100,000 cups of yogurt, to Florida, Texas and other areas hit by Harvey and Irma

TWIN FALLS - The road to recovery after Hurricane Irma is beginning for many people in Florida as some are finally able to head back home and assess the damage.

Across the nation several organizations have rolled up their sleeves to help, including a company we've all heard about - Chobani.

Volunteers from right here in Idaho, in addition to New York and Florida, were boots on the ground this weekend, identifying the needs of those people living in some of the hardest hit areas.

One of those places is Fort Meyers. Many people have stories like Darlene Bithorn.

"I lost everything and I didn't have that much in the beginning," said Bithorn. "It's just devastating, it really is."

Thousands have ended up in mega shelters while they try to reach a sense of normalcy in unsure times.

"The people we're helping here today can't get home," said Alyson Outen with Chobani. "They don't even know the state of their homes."

It's the start of the journey to recovery.

"They're waiting for that water to go down and then they're going to have a hard road ahead of them, cleaning out their houses, getting their lives back in order," said Frank Connelly with the Red Cross.

For now, there's a glimmer of hope in a familiar small cup. 

"The nurse Karen from the Red Cross said there's something out front that will make you happy," said Bithorn. "Then I saw the Chobani truck and I was glowing."

It's a cup that before today, was just a cup of yogurt.

"We're reaching people at a very vulnerable state and it's amazing what a small gesture can do and how far that can go in making somebody feel a little bit better and lifting their spirits," said Outen.

This weekend, Chobani handed out nearly 100,000 cups of yogurt to evacuation shelters and those impacted by Hurricane Irma. They also donated $50,000 in contributions and matching funds.

Volunteers were also in Texas this weekend delivering more yogurt to first responders.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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