Hurricane Sandy was, in a word, devastating. Preparing our pantries and hosting refugees may have been exciting, but after the storm cleared we became aware of how much damage some of our neighbors had experienced. Motivated by a desire to help those without electricity, water, or the comfort of home, the Food52 team decided to contribute the best way we knew how -- through food. Monday's workday was dedicated to cooking, and lots of it.
First came the shopping. While the majority of our team cleared the local grocery stores of cream, butter, pasta, and disposable baking sheets, Kristy and Peter headed to Costco to pick up toiletries, flashlights, diapers, and other much needed items.
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Aiming for filling, comforting food, we divided and subsequently conquered forty batches of Al Forno's Baked Pasta, ten batches of Flapjacks, and mountains of roasted vegetables.
At the end of the day, we loaded our food into two cars and drove down to Gerritsen Beach. The inspiring team at Robicellis had been tweeting about this Brooklyn neighborhood, still without power but banding together to provide its residents with food, clothing, warmth, and support. Driving through dark streets illuminated by generator lights, we finally saw the realities we had been reading so much about. The work that the Gerritsen Beach community had already done to collect donations and organize themselves was impressive and inspiring. All of the volunteers we met were kind, gracious, and motivated. After dropping off food, we organized clothes, got to know our fellow volunteers, and felt very grateful for the opportunity to help.
There will be a need for volunteers, food, and support long after the national perspective shifts to other topics. We hope that the New York community and the Food52 community alike will continue to rally around those who still feel Sandy's effects. While there are numerous ways to help, below are a few great places to start. Find a way to help that is meaningful to you, and remember your neighbors in need.