Local doctor prepping for relief trip to North Carolina in wake of Hurricane Florence

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - It's been said that food can have healing powers and that point was evident Wednesday at Carlos' Poco Loco in Toledo.

Homes flooded by Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina, Photo Date: September 14, 2018 / Photo: MSNBC / (MGN)

The popular uptown restaurant played host to a benefit for Dr. Richard Paat and his team.

"We have the ability to go down there and help, and that's what we going to do," said Paat.

For years the group has traveled to disaster ravaged areas to offer medical services to those in need. Now just days after Hurricane Florence ripped through the east coast the team is prepping for travel to Dudley, North Carolina.

"It's an area that was pretty hard hit by the hurricane—still a lot of flooding in the area," said Paat.

When they get to the hurricane-withered town Paat says his group's focus will be on migrant workers. The plan is to help more than 700 of them get access to essential medical care.

"Our migrant workers are in great, desperate need at this moment right now," said volunteer Maria Gonzalez.

Gonzalez has traveled on multiple relief trips with Paat over the years. She along with others will stay in the Dudley offices of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, or FLOC, a group with ties to Northwest Ohio.

"Dr. Paat sent a letter and said, 'Just be prepared to sleep on the floor and bring a light sleeping bag and that's what it is,'" said Gonzalez.

While the conditions may not be ideal, Gonzalez says the work is worth it to help others in need.

"It's such a rewarding job to know that you can make a huge difference somebody else's life," said Gonzalez.

Thanks to the generosity of those in Toledo, Dr. Paat and his team hope to help those impacted by Florence heal.

"Toledo's always been a wonderful supporter for any disasters," said Paat. "They're very generous in terms of giving their time, giving their funding and support for us."