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American Red Cross to Help Provide Thanksgiving Meals to Sandy-Hit Residents

Holiday Initiative Part of Extensive Red Cross Feeding Operation

PITTSBURGH — As people in New Jersey and New York continue to recover from Hurricane Sandy, the American Red Cross will be handing out thousands of boxes of food before Thanksgiving and also providing about 35,000 hot Thanksgiving meals to people in need. 

“As families across America sit down to share a Thanksgiving meal, it’s important to remember that many people in New Jersey and New York are still struggling,” said Charley Shimanski, head of Red Cross Disaster Services. “Red Cross volunteers will be working throughout the holiday weekend to make sure residents aren’t going hungry.” 

The Red Cross will deliver about 20,000 boxes of food in New York during Thanksgiving week. These boxes contain enough non-perishable food to feed a family of four for several days; items such as canned sweet potatoes, green beans and corn, and packages of mashed potatoes and rice. Thousands of boxes were packed by Red Cross volunteers last weekend in Richmond, Va., and additional boxes are being provided through a partnership with Feeding America and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On Thursday, the Red Cross will serve Thanksgiving lunches—including turkey, mashed potatoes and apple pie—from fixed feeding sites in New Jersey and New York. Red Cross response vehicles will also travel through affected neighborhoods to provide these meals. This is a continuation of the extensive Red Cross feeding operation that has been underway for weeks, carried out in partnership with the Southern Baptist Convention.

Thanks to the generosity of the American public, the Red Cross has been helping people since before Sandy made landfall, and will continue to help for weeks to come as families get back on their feet. This is likely to be the largest Red Cross response in the U.S. in the past five years. Nearly 5,100 Red Cross workers are supporting shelters and providing meals and supplies at fixed sites and driving through neighborhoods. Since Hurricane Sandy made landfall, the Red Cross has—

• Served 6.6 million meals and snacks
• Distributed 3.9 million relief items, such as hygiene items, cleaning supplies, flashlights, rakes, shovels, tarps, dust masks, work gloves and cold weather items
• Provided more than 77,000 overnight shelter stays
• Made more than 77,000 health services and emotional support contacts
• Mobilized more than 10,500 trained workers from all 50 states; about 90 percent of these workers are volunteers

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