Feeding America member food banks continue to provide food and other supplies to those effected by Hurricane Sandy and are now preparing for more displacement that could come as the result of the nor'easter storm that is threatening the region.
To date, more than 3.7 million pounds of donated food and supplies has been moved into the hardest hit areas, including the coast along New Jersey, Long Island, and Staten Island. That is in addition to the thousands of pounds of supplies that were already stationed near the anticipated disaster zone.
An additional 1.2 million pounds of supplies have come from other food banks across the country.
"Food banks are on the front lines before, during and after a natural disaster making sure that we can get food to those who are in need," said Matt Knott, interim president and CEO of Feeding America, the nation's leading anti-hunger organization. "Our member food banks and their staffs in the northeast have endured their own hardships but they continue to provide an essential service in their community and will continue to do so long after the storm leaves."
Food banks in the area have been crucial in providing much needed food and supplies to those displaced because of the storms. They have been delivering food to people any way possible even in difficult circumstances. At Island Harvest in Mineola, N.Y., for example, the staff was able to deliver 10,000 sandwiches to people in need with help of a police escort.
Many of the food banks in the area have been able to operate throughout the storm and aftermath, but many others sustained damage to their facilities and are dealing with staffing issues. At City Harvest in New York City, for example, the storm caused about $100,000 of damage to some of their trucks. The Community Food Bank of New Jersey in Hillside is sheltering employees and their families whose homes have been damaged or who have no power.
Feeding America has a trained approximately 80 designated staff throughout the Food Bank Network to serve on support teams in the event of a large scale disaster. In addition, Feeding America provides specialized disaster training for its food banks around the country, ensuring a prepared network and seamless disaster response.
But it takes a collective effort to bring relief to those in need. Thanks to donations from nearly 50 corporate partners across the country, food banks have been able to get much needed supplies.
In 2005, Feeding America formalized its commitment to providing aid during times of disaster, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Today, as a member of the National Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster (NVOAD), Feeding America is often among the first responders called upon to assist with relief and recovery during a national emergency.
Feeding America (then named America's Second Harvest) provided more than 83 million pounds of supplies to Louisiana and other Gulf States during the months-long recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
To learn more about Feeding America and its disaster relief operations, or to donate to the organization, please visit www.feedingamerica.org. Donations can also be accepted by calling 800-910-5524.
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