Months after Hurricane Sandy devastated neighborhoods in New York and New Jersey, the American Red Cross continues to provide food, water, health services and emotional support in the affected communities.
Almost 1,000 Red Cross disaster workers are still responding in the two states. To date, more than 16,500 workers have been assigned to the Sandy response, the large majority volunteers. Recently, volunteer Roger Hamalainen, of Fargo, returned after two weeks in New Jersey working as a liaison with other governmental and non-governmental organizations. Hamalainen is one of 23 responders to the Hurricane Sandy disaster relief efforts from the Minn-Kota Region.
“It is great to see volunteers with an eagerness to learn and passion for our mission,” said Susan B. Smith, Regional Emergency Services Director of the Heart of Carolina Region. “Our organization is fortunate to have (Roger) and I hope to work with him again.”
Neighborhoods have changed forever; countless homes have been damaged or destroyed. One of the biggest needs people have had since the storm hit is food to eat, a need which continues all these weeks later.
As of this week, the Red Cross and partners have served about 10.5 million meals and snacks. The Red Cross still has fixed feeding sites open, trucks delivering food and relief supplies in affected neighborhoods, and is providing an additional 60,000 meals a week through a unique partnership with local food banks.
To help ensure people who need food have access to it, the Red Cross is helping to fund several local food banks to boost their capacity to serve more meals. Local groups like City Harvest, Island Harvest and the Food Bank for New York City have the experience and capacity to provide both large scale and long term feeding in New York.
People can get food boxes at a number of sites in hard hit areas that provide about three days of food for four people, some of it ready for them to eat and some that can be prepared at home.
Since Sandy made landfall, the Red Cross has:
- Provided almost 108,000 health and mental health services
- Distributed 6.9 million relief items like blankets and clean-up supplies
- Distributed about 10.5 million meals and snacks
- Deployed more than 16,500 workers to help
Photo Caption: A unique partnership with the Red Cross and local food banks in New York is providing thousands of meals for people in need. Trucks distribute boxes of grocery supplies in the affected neighborhoods. How people get them home varies. Eliza Bo carriers hers while pushing seven-month-old Kevin in his stroller. (Photo by Les Stone/American Red Cross).