By Dari Kotzker
Red Cross and Southern Baptist Convention volunteers have been donating their time since Hurricane Sandy hit, and there’s no exception for Thanksgiving. More than 150 volunteers came together at Red Cross Kitchen in Middletown to help prepare, pack up and distribute 2,300 Thanksgiving lunches and 675 dinners to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
“We’ve been able to move nearly 4 million meals and snacks since prior to the storm with feeding at our shelters and after the storm at all the affected areas, along with the Southern Baptist Convention, where Red Cross purchases the food, they cook it and load into Emergency Response Vehicles and roll it out into affected neighborhoods,” said Diane Concannon, chief communications officer for the American Red Cross.
Most of the volunteers are from different parts of the country, and even Mexio and Canada, and are spending Thanksgiving away from their families. “I want to thank my family for being here because I’m usually the one cooking, so they’re coming together and I’m hoping they save me leftovers but I think there’s no better way to give thanks than to help people who need it,” said Alison Bono, a Red Cross volunteer from Michigan.
The two remaining Red Cross Kitchens will be closing down on Sunday, but the Southern Baptist Convention will still have disaster recovery teams throughout New Jersey and the Red Cross will continue to provide meals for those in need.