Governor Andrew M. CuomoALBANY, N.Y. /New York Netwire/ — NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that non-profit organizations are continuing to load and distribute food and water to shelters and New Yorkers affected by Hurricane Sandy. Earlier today, the Governor announced that the National Guard with FEMA will deliver one million meals and bottled water to New Yorkers. Delivery to parts of Lower Manhattan, affected areas in Brooklyn and Queens, including the Rockaways started today.

“We are working with local community groups to deliver as much food and water as we can to New Yorkers who need it most,? Governor Cuomo said. “New York has one of the largest and most sophisticated non-profit sectors in the country and as we recover from Hurricane Sandy, this sector will be a critical partner.

Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, said “We applaud the Governor’s leadership in mobilizing the National Guard as well as non-profits such as the National Urban League to provide food and water to the people of New York whose lives have been disrupted by Superstorm Sandy.

This afternoon, the Governor visited the National Guard food distribution site at the 69th Regiment Armory in Manhattan, New York, where the National Urban League, the Coalition Against Hunger, Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, the Bowery Residents’ Committee, the Grand St. Settlement, and the Henry Street Settlement helped load and take food back to shelters in different parts of Manhattan.

Other groups including, Friends of Firefighters, Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation, Project Hospitality, and Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, are coordinating to help distribute food to other parts of New York City.

A post-Sandy survey of non-profits found that nearly half of 400 non-profits who responded to the survey expect an increase in the number of people seeking help due to the storm. Nearly 40 percent of these organizations plan to shift their focus in response to needs resulting from the storm.

William Rapfogel, CEO of Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, said, “Our community is grateful to Governor Cuomo for the timely release of water and non-perishable food that we are distributing to needy, homebound, frail elderly and disabled who are in areas that have lost power and water. This is life-saving for them as they struggle with the day-to-day challenges since Hurricane Sandy. At least their lives have been made a little brighter today thanks to the Governor and the State of New York.

Nancy Carbone, Executive Director of Friends of Firefighters, said, “We help firefighters and their families. These men and women fought fires while their own homes were burning down in Breezy Point. We are committed to helping them in any way we can, and appreciate the Governor’s attention to the fact that these families need help.?
Pat Simon, Executive Director of Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation, said, “There are 7,000 residents of Arverne without power. Our staff is doing all they can, but we need, and appreciate the full support of the resources of the Governor’s office. These meals will be most welcome because of their intrinsic value and also because of the message they send, that we are not forgotten and that help is coming.

Rev. Terry Troia, Executive Director of Project Hospitality, said, “Project Hospitality is coordinating emergency needs of the victims of Hurricane Sandy at the public shelters on Staten Island. We are collecting towels, socks, underwear and providing food. The organization itself is without electricity yet is housing approximately 200 homeless people including evacuees and servicing about 1,000 people in emergency shelters. We are deeply grateful to the Governor for responding to the emergency food needs.

Rabbi Weiner, Executive Director of Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island, said “The devastation from Hurricane Sandy in the Coney Island area has been both traumatic and horrific. The flooding and damage impacted tens of thousands of area residents, destroying homes, businesses and offices throughout the community. The central office of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Coney Island was left in shambles, as if an explosion had occurred. These offices house 50 of the 150 employees that coordinate services to 2,500 people each day including critical services for the homebound elderly and run 5 senior centers – two of which were so crippled by the storm they are unable to re-open in the foreseeable future. About 650 meals are served to seniors through these 2 sites. We are currently engaging in assistance efforts and getting food out to those in need. Assistance from the State is welcomed, appreciated, and very much needed.