By Sue Kariker
Photo by Ginger Winings
FAR ROCKAWAYS, N.Y. – There’s more than one way to fill a hungry stomach.
For weeks, the familiar red-and-white American Red Cross trucks have been delivering meals to two senior housing complexes in Beach Channel on the southwest edge of Long Island, where Superstorm Sandy left widespread devastation.
More than 600 residents turn out to receive the carry-out clamshells of food they have come to rely on until power is restored and nearby stores reopen.
On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, however, the Red Cross trucks carried a bonus: Each resident received a cooler filled with non-perishable food to tide them over while the organization restocked and refueled for the Thanksgiving weekend push.
The Red Cross teamed up with the National Guard, which had been patrolling Long Beach Island – in the hard-hit Far Rockaways – for nearly four weeks.
“The partnership between the National Guard and the Red Cross has been saving the lives of the fragile population,” said Ruth Larkin, a resident of the Beach Street Senior Housing Complex who helped organize the handout at the high-rises.
Red Cross disaster responders would be working throughout the holiday weekend to get meals and comfort to families and individuals affected by Sandy, but they couldn’t be everywhere at once.