DENVER — Oskar Blues Brewery, its CAN’d Aid Foundation and Frontier Airlines have partnered to fly more than 90,000 cans of drinking water to Puerto Rico.
In all, about 91,200 cans will be loaded and sent to San Juan, with the first to arrive Friday afternoon. Water will continue to be delivered on flights departing from Denver that connect in San Juan.
About 44 percent of Puerto Rico’s population is without drinking water, due to large-scale devastation caused by Category 4 Hurricane Maria. Potable water won’t be restored until power is, and that could likely take months.
“We’re fortunate to be in a position to help,” Dale Katechis, founder of CAN’d Aid Foundation and Oskar Blues Brewery, said in a prepared statement. “When towns and areas are hit hard by natural or man-made disasters, water supplies are often the first thing to go. And when we can jump in to provide safe drinking water quickly – we stand on the gas. In Puerto Rico, we had no immediate way to help, but with generous support from Frontier Airlines, we’re now able to lend a hand, fast, because it’s the right thing do and because we can.”
Relief has been slow getting to the island, due to its remote location and a delay on waiving shipping restrictions to Puerto Rico. Because of that, Frontier decided to step in and start flying in supplies.
“With the hard to reach nature of Puerto Rico we are in a unique position where we can partner with Oskar Blues and CAN’d Aid to provide quick delivery of safe and clean drinking water to the people of Puerto Rico,” said Frontier Spokesman Richard Oliver, in a prepared statement. “With our ability to fly in relief supplies we’re able to provide some much-needed relief to people in need.”
Multiple times in September, Oskar Blues stopped its beer production to can water for hurricane relief efforts needed in Houston, Florida and now Puerto Rico. CAN’d Aid has sent 433,000 cans to those in need after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.