NEW JERSEY - In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many residents have been asking how they can help and/or volunteer to assist residents throughout New Jersey who are in need of power, shelter and food. 

Governor Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie today announced the formation of the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund to help residents impacted by the recent superstorm that wrought damage and destruction in New Jersey and along the Jersey Shore earlier this week.

“As recovery efforts continue, we know that even greater needs will become apparent for our families who have been impacted so deeply and extensively by this disaster,” Governor Christie said. “New Jerseyans are not only tough and resilient – as we’ve already seen powerfully through the storm and initial recovery period – they are caring, generous and kind. Above all, we are a community and we take care of each other. As the recovery proceeds over the weeks and months, this fund will give us an avenue to collect and distribute those resources to our neighbors and communities and assist as many of our families as possible.”

A website for the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund is expected to be launched soon.

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Donations to the fund can be sent to the address below:

Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund

PO Box 95
Mendham NJ 07945-0095
Email: info@sandynjrelieffund.org

New Jersey is recovering from the worst natural disaster in more than a century, and the Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ) is critical to helping state residents affected by the devastation.  The CFBNJ is currently distributing over 100,000 pounds of food daily to families displaced by Hurricane Sandy.

Whether you’re in the area or not, there are many ways people can directly help those in their greatest time of need:

To donate funds:
o Visit www.cfbnj.org and click on the “Hurricane Relief” tab on the homepage
o Make a $10 donation by texting FEEDNJ to 80888
o Call (908) 355-3663 ext. 253
o Financial donations have the greatest impact on our ability to help New Jersey recover by allowing us to respond to specific needs.

To donate items:
o If you’re in the area, you can donate food/grocery items, such as meals in a can, canned tuna, peanut butter, canned fruits, canned vegetables, canned soup, shelf-stable milk, cereal, baby food (no glass jars), and diapers to the Community FoodBank locations at 31 Evans Terminal, Hillside, NJ 07205; 6735 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Twp, NJ 08234
o You can donate items at MetLife Stadium between 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. during this Sunday’s New York Giants game

To volunteer:
o Visit www.cfbnj.org for information

The food bank is working closely with New Jersey Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), Red Cross and Salvation Army since last week's Hurricane Sandy warnings to prepare for and meet the needs of New Jersey residents affected by its devastation. CFBNJ is currently providing thousands of meals per day to displaced individuals and families.

Despite being without power for several days, the CBFNJ has sent truckloads of ready-to-eat meals and water to the Office of Emergency Management and shelters in Atlantic, Ocean, Somerset, Passaic, Essex, Middlesex, Hudson, Burlington, Monmouth, Bergen and Cape May counties. Blankets have been provided to those displaced by flooding in Moonachie and Little Ferry.

In light of the gas shortages, United Way advises residents to stay local and help neighbors in our northern New Jersey communities by sharing a warm meal or an outlet to charge a cell phone. Or register with the United Way Volunteer Link website at www.unitedwaynnj.org/Volunteering for formal volunteer opportunities with a local relief organization.

For those wishing to make a financial donation, there is the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund (#sandyfund). Contributions to the fund will be used by local United Ways in 12 states, including New Jersey, to address hurricane recovery needs in communities that FEMA has declared disaster areas. 

 To make a donation online visit www.UWSandyRecovery.org or you can make a $10 donation by texting the word RECOVERY to 52000.

Tips for interested volunteers:

·Do not self-deploy or begin a collection without registering or consulting with a reputable disaster relief agency.

·Visit www.nj211.org/hurricane.cfm#volunteer or call “2-1-1” 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week for volunteer opportunities.

·Stay local, and help immediate neighbors in need. For local volunteer opportunities, visit United Way Volunteer Link at  www.unitedwaynnj.org/Volunteering

·Donate to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund online at www.UWSandyRecovery.org.  Or make a $10 donation by texting the word RECOVERY to 52000. 

Other local opportunities to help or volunteer include:

  1. SAGE Eldercare needs help restocking its Portable Pantry. They are seeking donations of shelf-stable food items, which are delivered to older adults in need. Items include: peanut butter, tuna, salmon or chicken in cans or packets, granola bars, peanut butter and/or cheese sandwich crackers, canned fruit, apple sauce, dried fruit, low-sugar cereal, shelf-stable milk, low-sodium soups and crackers. Donations can be dropped off at SAGE Eldercare, 290 Broad Street, starting Monday, Nov. 5 between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. Any questions call SAGE's Meals on Wheels (908) 273-5554
  2. The Red Cross is in need of diapers and formula.  Please consider donating these items to your local chapter.
  3. Bliss Clothing Store, 9 Railroad Plaza, in Chatham is taking all kinds of donations for victims of Hurricane Sandy and will next be open on Tuesday.

Editor's Note: Know of other volunteer opportunities or ways to help?  Email editor@thealternativepress.com and we'll add to this list.  Thank you!