This post is very important to me and I ask that you make it down all the way to the bottom.
My husband’s job has taken us to many beautiful and wonderful places to live and explore, but New York will ALWAYS be my home. I was born and raised on Long Island and my family is still there. My mom, sisters and their families braved Hurricane Sandy both on Long Island and one near the Jersey Shore. They all survived the storm, but are now dealing with significant home repairs and loss of power.
My sister on Long Island has had power since the second day of recovery. She has been opening her home to friends, neighbors, soccer team families, boy scout families and church families in shifts to help those without power get relief from the cold. Simple things like taking a hot shower, doing some laundry, charging up phones and electronics, letting the kids watch a movie and and eat something warm is considered a “God Send” to those in the dark. Her church has been without power, so they have held masses by candle light ever since the storm.
My mother in Nassau County is still without power and my sister in New Jersey has had power on and off. In New Jersey, Halloween was actually canceled and rescheduled because of all the downed wires, trees and flooding making it too unsafe for kids to be outside. Additionally, the gas shortage in both areas is causing many families stress. Several gas stations are completely out of gas and the ones with gas have lines several hours long. Friends are saying that they are getting up at two and three in the morning just to have a shorter wait at the pump.
We have friends who have lost cars due to down trees, boats due to the water surge and even friends living in hotels without power with small children, because their evacuated homes are damaged and deemed unsafe to return to. I can see that the people I love up there are getting tired and I am hearing a reoccurring theme that they “really want to go home”.
New Yorkers are classically strong and are trying to make the best of things, but it is definitely breaking my heart when I hear my friends up there saying they are “cold” and begging the power authorities to “hurry up”. It’s a mess. So my first request, is please continue to pray for everyone up in New York and New Jersey during the recovery efforts.
If all that wasn’t stressful enough, food banks are starting to run short on food. I posted several days back on my Chew Chew Mama Facebook page that the suggested list of non-perishable food items to stock up on before the storm presented by all the news stations and counties were a problem for us. Most of the items on the list were not an option because of our son’s severe peanut allergy.
We can’t chow down on peanut butter and trail mix. Nor can we even eat just any crackers. It was our first time dealing with an impending storm when considering his food allergy and it was stressful and a challenge. Fortunately, we did not have to deal with the worst of the storm this time.
It’s very different if your child does not have a food allergy. As one, smiling mom told me while we chatted in line at the food store, “If we lose power, i’m just planning to give my kids peanut butter sandwiches until the power comes back on”. I smiled, but my heart sank into my chest as I placed my items on the check out belt behind her, because it sounded SO easy and that is unfortunately never and option for us.
So why am I bringing this up?
Because food banks up in New York and New Jersey are asking for food — but they are specifically asking for some donations of non-perishable allergy safe foods (free of gluten and peanut/tree nuts) for families who are in need and have a child with a severe allergy. If you are able to help in any way at all. Please think of these stressed out families in the cold and dark…then times the worry and stress you think they are feeling times a billion…to understand the feeling of running out of safe food options to feed your allergy child or baby.
You can be a child’s hero and you can answer a parent’s prayer.
All you have to do is send a box of safe food items and be sure to label each item “allergy-friendly”.
Suggested “Safe” Items
– Canned veggies
– Canned Soups
– Snack Pack Fruit Cups and/or squeezable apple sauce
– Whole fruit juices
– Milk boxes and/or juice boxes
– Canned tuna and salmon
– Baby food (fruits/veggies/meats)
Be sure to double check the food labels for allergy warnings.
Here are a list of Food Banks in each affected area that would appreciate your help, if you, your church, your moms group, your child’s troop, your colleagues at work can do a “safe” food collection and send it up to those in need.
Thank you for reading this post. And more importantly, thank you for helping those in need. Please help by sharing this post on your Facebook pages and/or your blogs to spread the word and get this information out. Every little bit helps while the relief effort continues.
Chew Chew Mama
FOOD BANKS IN NEED IN NEW YORK
The following food bank will accept palettes of food from companies or individual packages from donors. Label any boxes you send as “allergy friendly food.”
Long Island Cares Inc.
10 Davids Drive (Harry Chapin Way)
Hauppauge, NY 11788-2039
Phone (631) 582-FOOD
NEW YORK CITY
The following food bank is only accepting large donations of food on palettes from food companies. They are unable to accept small packages of food donations. If you want to help as an individual, please make a cash donation.
Food Bank of New York City
355 Food Center Drive
Bronx, NY 10474
t: 718.991.4300, ext. 3335
c:646 265 5099
There are currently no food banks located on Staten Island. The manager of the Shop Rite grocery store near the New Dorp High School, one of the hardest hit area of Staten Island, has agreed to set up a conference room to accept shelf-stable gluten-free and/or allergen-friendly items. Individual donations or palettes from the company may be sent. You can send your food donations to:
Rich Phillips, Manager
Shop Rite, New Dorp
2424 Hylan Blvd
Staten Island, NY 10306
Label your donations as “allergy friendly” or “gluten free,” as appropriate. if sending palettes, please contact the store manager to let him know it’s being sent.
The following food banks are accepting donations of food. Please mark any boxes you send “allergy-friendly” so they can be identified. They also welcome cash donations.
The Community Food Bank of NJ
6735 Black Horse Pike
Egg Harbor, NJ 08234
The Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, Inc.
3300 Route 66
Neptune, NJ 07753