Volunteers from Puerto Rico help feed NC hurricane victims

October 4, 2018
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In this photo provided by Alina Luciano, Yarinnet Robles hands out food on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, to responders and victims of Hurricane Florence at East Lumberton Baptist Church in Lumberton, N.C. They are part of Operation Pay It Forward, a group working with Operation Blessings, based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, to give out food in Lumberton. (Alina Luciano via AP)

LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — They know what it’s like to suffer from a devastating hurricane, so chefs and volunteers from Puerto Rico are helping out in a North Carolina city damaged by Hurricane Florence.

Chef Lionel Rodriguez and others with a group called Operation Pay It Forward are preparing meals at the East Lumberton Baptist Church. Spokesman Jesus Flores said Wednesday the group arrived Monday and will serve lunch and dinner through Oct. 13.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz organized the delegation, which is working through Operation Blessing, a Virginia-based nonprofit.

Flores says Operation Blessing volunteers are serving about 2,000 meals per day.

Puerto Rico is struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria, which killed almost 3,000 people and caused damages estimated at more than $100 billion last year.

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