IMPACT

After Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey Food Banks Face Shortage

Nov 16, 2012

Since Superstorm Sandy pounded the East Coast, New Jersey food banks are in high demand, some feeding twice as many families as before, npr.org reports. And as Thanksgiving approaches, some food banks are struggling to bring turkeys to their families' tables.

The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean County has distributed over 250,000 meals in the last two weeks alone, executive director Carlos Rodriguez told nj.com.

Not only has the food bank doubled its distribution but they also have a precious commodity in their freezers -- 10,000 turkeys, according to npr.org.

Its turkeys were kept frozen on generator power during the storm and have been saved, Rodriguez told npr.org. "With so many stores having lost power and having to throw away so much food, we were able to save something that, quite frankly, right now was priceless," he told the news outlet.

Other New Jersey food banks aren’t as lucky. They are met with the immediate needs of storm victims but also the demands of the imminent holiday season.

Englewood’s Center for Food Action had to drastically cut its Thanksgiving program too, according to NorthJersey.com. The food pantry had limit their turkey distribution to 1,800 families compared to the 4,000 they served last year, executive director Patricia Espy told NorthJersey.com.

Superstorm Sandy ruined frozen food sections in supermarkets, lessening the amount stores could donate, Interfaith Food Pantry assistant director, Carolyn Lake told nj.com.

Despite the shortage, Lake’s food pantry is determined to provide turkeys to its families. It will buy the turkeys if it has to, she told nj.com.

Food donations like non-perishables are welcomed says Rodriguez, of the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean County but he sees equal value in monetary donations, he told nj1015.com

“Even ten dollars can help us support thirty meals, so if you have limited means, every little bit counts. And it gives us the flexibility to really shift and figure out what the immediate needs are with food industry partners and bulk purchases,” Rodriguez told the news outlet.

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