Monday, December 6, 2021

Greater Marco Long Term Recovery’s Critical Role During Pandemic

Photos by Ron McClay | Chris Byrne of the City of Marco Island, Liz Pecora, Vice-Chair of GMLTR, & Chief Murphy of the City of Marco Island at the JW storage facility.

Photos by Maria Lamb | Cars started lining up at 3:15 on Fridays at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church parking lot on 6thAvenue and Elkcam Circle for Al’s Pal’s mobile food pantry food distribution.

Greater Marco Long Term Recovery (GMLTR) has been looking for extra storage to accommodate the food boxes from the Florida Division of Emergency Managementall 26,598 pounds. The Winterberry location of Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is at maximum capacity. 

Chris Byrne of the City of Marco Island and Lauren Bonica from Collier County Bureau of Emergency Management contacted the JW Marriott and they agreed to help out. On Thursday, June 25th, the staff at JW helped Ron McClay of Our Daily Bread unloaded two pallets of food packets from the JW’s warehouse which were distributed through Our Daily Bread Food Pantry and Al’s Pals.  

In late February, when the Pandemic was looming over SWFL, GMLTR shifted gears into COVID-19 response. Working in the Emergency Command Structure under Collier County EOC, GMLTR served as the oversteering body for partner organizations responding to the unmet need.  

According to Brianna Ogdin, Chair of GMLTR, as the New Year rang in, GMLTR and its partner agencies were transitioning from grants, demobilizing teams and staff while continuing to assess the ongoing needs of the community as a new “disaster” laid on the horizon.  

GMLTR’s Feeding Mission would become prevalent as Collier County went into quarantine. GMLTR worked to procure much-needed resources, supplies, and support for both Our Daily Bread Food Pantry and the Everglades Community Food Pantry to address that need. The organization continues to work collaboratively at the County level with inter-agency partners to address the needs of the community.  

Looking back, Brianna Ogdin stated, It is interesting to look at all our good works in hindsight,” and she feels that they’ve been running at warp speed since September of 2017.

Since 2017, Greater Marco Long Term Recovery (GMLTR) in collaboration with its community partner agencies has assisted approximately 5000 households throughout the county rebuild and recover from Hurricane Irma. The organization hosted Americorps, Vista and NCCC teams that came to Collier County to help assist with the identification and distribution of hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct assistance to those most affected by the disaster.  

Photos by Ron McClay | JW Marriott stepped up to store 26,598 pounds of food boxes for GMLTR.

Stronger together, GMLTR is a coalition of local non-profit and faith-based charitable and community service groups, as well as state and national organizationsGreater Marco Family YMCA, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Family Church of Marco Island, United Way, Wesley United Methodist Church, Marco Presbyterian Church, just to name a few. They share information and resources to address the needs of businesses and families and identify the unmet and future needs of those affected by disaster. 

The organization was formed by and recognized by FEMA late in 2017 and serves as the centralized hub for resources should disaster strikes, as it did with the destructive forces of Hurricane Irma.  

GMLTR’s board members consist of community members, many of which belong to one or more other agenciesBrianna Ogdin (Chair), Elizabeth “Liz” Pecora (ViceChair)the late Dave Copelin (Treasurer)Bill Ricigliano (Fiscal Agent Representative), Dennis Finney & Ashley Jones (Goodland Representative), Tara Ratel (Salvation Army Secretary), AnnaMarijka Tilleman (LTRG Coordinator)—undeployed FEMA VAL.


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