Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Sandy relief: Teamsters deliver 30k lbs of food to stricken community

Local 202 Teamsters and retirees, yesterday
Here's something to be thankful for: Teamsters who delivered a truckload of fruits and vegetables for homeless and hungry victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Members of Local 202 yesterday distributed more than 30,000 lbs. of fruits and vegetables to St. Francis de Sales Parish in Belle Harbor, Queens.

Sandy inflicted enormous damage on the residents of that community, according to Reuters.
Belle Harbor sits on a narrow spit of land that thrusts into the Atlantic Ocean southwest of the John F. Kennedy International Airport. The area had been extensively flooded by Sandy's record storm surge, which marooned the beach community from firefighters who sped to the scene...
On Tuesday morning, the bridges to the Rockaways had been blocked off by the National Guard. Belle Harbor's downtown shopping district had also been ravaged by fire, and the boardwalk had been ripped from its pilings and strewn throughout the street. Many store fronts were crumpled and petroleum pooled in the gutters. 
Cars and boats were smacked about the sidewalks like toys. The power was out, and predicted to stay out for days. There wasn't a bagel, cup of coffee or bathroom to be found. 
The smell of smoke was still in the air.
Some residents have power back, but life is still a struggle. St. Francis de Sales is helping with basic needs. Reports WCBS,
Many stores are closed and people from Far Rockaway are walking 50 to 60 blocks to line up for food at St. Francis De Sales Parish in Belle Harbor. 
They’re serving thousands of meals everyday in a large white tent where people can also get mental health counseling, legal aide, help from the utilities, and even a free massage.... 
They still need donations: food, cleaning supplies, warm blankets, and coats, though they are asking for no other clothing.
We're sure they're grateful for the fresh Teamster-delivered produce!

Local 202 members and retirees also did a tremendous job loading trucks and moving them out of the Red Cross warehouse in New Jersey last weekend. Those who pitched in included John Gerondel, Ray Dagostino, Robert Rodes, Jerry Forst, Johnny Barr, Jack Hayes and John Henderson.

If you'd like to help victims of the Superstorm but can't be in the region, consider a donation to the Teamster Disaster Relief Fund. It's a good way to express your thanks for all you have.