Red Cross donates holiday meals to Sandy victims

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - People are still hurting after Superstorm Sandy swept through the east coast. Hundreds of homes in New York City are set to be demolished.

That's in addition to 200 homes damaged or burned in a fire during Sandy. It's cases like this that have hundreds of Red Cross volunteers in Richmond stepping in and doing their part to help victims in the northeast.

Volunteers from all over Virginia packed thousands of coolers with food to feed families who still have so little following Hurricane Sandy.

They say it's the best feeling in the world to know they're helping so many people just days before Thanksgiving.

Volunteer Jeanie Edwards spent her Sunday packing coolers - just in time for the big feast.

"So many families are hurting," said Jeanie Edwards. "The more we can make Thanksgiving more pleasant and celebratory, the better."

Edwards joins hundreds of other helping hands in this assembly line allowing them to pack a total of 12,000 coolers over the weekend.

That's no joke for volunteers who fill these containers with non-perishables and then stack them on pallets, and unload them into trucks that pull out as soon as they're ready.

The coolers are packed with all kinds of food – canned meat, grains, yams, desserts and more.

All food items will be delivered to Rockaway, New Jersey and Breezy Point, New York.

Red Cross volunteers just discussed the idea Friday. After contacting coordinators and other partners they were able to rally an army of volunteers in a matter of hours.

Red Cross Spokesperson Jonathan McNamara says this effort would have been impossible without donations.

"It's so vital," said McNamara. "Your donation to the Red Cross allows us to make sure we have supplies we need to feed families. This is our donated dollars in action. It's amazing the outpouring from the community and we're so appreciative of it.'

The Red Cross hopes to finish packing up boxes around 8:00 p.m. Once trucks arrive in the northeast, volunteers will go door to door handing out the food.

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