No member of the BSCAH team will forget the scene we found as we arrived in Far Rockaway just one day after Sandy hit. Armed with hot food, blankets, and bags of groceries, we were among the first relief providers to brave the maze of downed power lines and piles of debris. We found a neighborhood that had been nearly destroyed, its frightened, confused and hungry residents everywhere in the streets. Within a few hours of our arrival that first day, the sun had disappeared and the only light we had was from our flashlights and phones. Yet families still waited, hoping to receive something to eat, and we were determined to meet the need even in the dark.
“Thank you so much,” said Sheneice, a single mother of four. She cradled her baby in one arm while we helped her with hot meals for the children and handed her a pantry bag. “We have lost everything,” she whispered as tears filled her eyes.
“We have lost everything.” Over the past few weeks, Sheniece’s words have echoed again and again as BSCAH’s on-site relief effort has provided crucial support to thousands in both Coney Island and Far Rockaway. Hundreds more evacuees have come to BSCAH’s Bed Stuy pantry for food and support as they struggle to put their lives back together while living in shelters and with relatives.
In the first three weeks after Hurricane Sandy, Bed Stuy Campaign Against hunger increased its normal food distribution by a staggering 138%. Bed Stuy Campaign Against Hunger typically feeds 200-300 new families per month; in the three weeks after Sandy, we added 651 new families.
In December of 2012, BSCAH received a $10,000 grant to help us “double our efforts” in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. This wonderful donation as well as the contributions of others has allowed us to continue helping needy families still recovering from the devastation of the storm. To learn more about this work, please visit our Mobile Pantry page.