Port-Au-Prince, Haiti—On Tuesday, January 12, the Port-Au-Prince region of Haiti experienced an earthquake, which ranked 7.0 in magnitude, leaving in its wake a path of destruction. For those living the disaster, the day was filled with shock, fear and total chaos. But, for the rest of the world watching, it was a time to reach out and offer hope to disaster-torn Haiti.

Our industry was especially selfless during this time. One non-profit that used its efforts to benefit the earthquake victims was Nourish America, which spearheaded an initiative to collect donations from industry. It also partnered with Direct Relief International to provide bottles of children’s chewable vitamins (manufactured by Tishcon Corporation) to needy Haitians. Nourish America also pledged a two-year support program for earthquake victims, particularly focusing on helping to restructure the lives of children. To that end, the company also joined forces with the National Foundation for Women Legislators, which helps bring together resources for a reliable network of distribution for all supplies provided.

Mary Morton of Nourish America commented, “Because of the devastated infrastructure in Haiti and the massive amounts of products that are sitting in the existing warehouses there, we have been diligently working to ensure that any donations made to Nourish America for our relief effort are safely transported and quickly distributed.”

Another firm offering its continued support is Vitamin Angels, which responded to the disaster by shipping more than one million children’s multivitamins. And, after the crisis, they pledged to help by working to rebuild nutritional security in Haiti. Furthermore, the non-profit plans to focus on long-term ways for abolishing micronutrient deficiency. They also will continue to direct donations from its U.S. partners to a Haitian relief campaign while urging support for Vitamin Angels long-term rebuilding and to help restore recently depleted supplies of the children’s multiple vitamins.

Stated Howard B. Schiffer, president of Vitamin Angels, “Having been in Haiti just a few months ago, and knowing the poor condition of the infrastructure before the earthquake, we’ve been immediately concerned about our in-country partners, how the children we are currently working with are doing and how the recent disaster will impact our long-term plans for Haiti.”

The following is only a smattering of the many industry organizations helping Haiti recover from recent disaster:

Herbal Water supplied more than 42,000 bottles of water.

DCI Cheese Company contributed $45,000 to the American Red Cross.

Conscious Alliance rallied for two missions: relief efforts in Haiti and aid for residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Nordic Naturals made a donation to the American Red Cross and contributed 1% of its February Ultimate Omega sales to Architecture for Humanity. This group will be instrumental in the rebuilding of Port-au-Prince.

Mineral Resources International donated its elete electrolyte add-ins to earthquake relief efforts.

Bioforce USA provided 2,200 units of its Echinaforce Junior Immune Supplement for children.

Soma Beverage Company gave nearly 19,000 bottles of its micronutrient water, Metroelectro, to the nonprofit organization, Serve the People, Inc., which collected provisions for those working to rebuild and restore the leveled country.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2010