A local Seventh-day Adventist church is providing food and shelter to 16 people left homeless by last week’s deadly earthquake in Italy.
A powerful earthquake struck central Italy on Aug. 24, killing at least 292 people and flattening several towns.
Volunteers from the church and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency are cooking three meals a day for displaced people at the church in Rieti, located about an 80-minute drive north of Rome.
“ADRA is also offering the meals to volunteers from other relief organizations working in the area,” the Adventist Church in Italy said in a statement released by the church’s Inter-European Division, whose territory includes Italy.
The meals are an extension of a ADRA community program called “A Home to All” that has operated on the Rieti church’s premises since 2012. The program provides meals and a meeting place for the local community. It also provides various services to immigrants, including free Internet, showers, food, and clothing.
In addition to cooking meals, the volunteers are cleaning the guestrooms of the 16 people staying at the church, cleaning the restrooms, and distributing emergency supplies.
An extra truckload of supplies has been stored at the church because storage areas used by other relief organizations are already full, ADRA said. Some of the aid will be distributed to the 16 people at the church.
“We will use these supplies for the needs of our guests and for other needs," ADRA said in a statement provided by the division. "Volunteers have also made an inventory of the medicine received that will be sent to the Red Cross.”
ADRA is organizing volunteer shifts of five to six people daily at the church. Volunteers have offered to come to Rieti from as far away as Rome, Bologna, and Florence.
Church members were also planning recreational activities for children and the elder staying in tent camps in Italy’s Lazio and Marche regions.