Stories from the National Hunger Hotline: The Long Road to Recovery

Following Hurricane Sandy, New York City opened seven “Restoration Centers” in the neighborhoods hit hardest by the storm in a “comprehensive effort to connect residents and businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy with financial, health, environmental, nutritional and residential services, as well as FEMA reimbursement processing.” Erika, a counselor at the Restoration Center in Gravesend, Brooklyn, called the National Hunger Hotline after meeting with a woman whose house had been partially destroyed by the floodwaters over ten weeks ago. She was sleeping in the bedroom on the second floor of her home, but her kitchen, located on the first floor, was unusable. Low on cash and without a place to store and prepare food, she was eating an average of only one meal every two days, Erika told the Hotline Advocate. Using listings from the local food bank, the Hotline advocate was able to tell Erika the hours and locations of soup kitchens and food pantries in Gravesend so her client would be able to eat adequate meals.

The National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3 HUNGRY and 1-877-8 HAMBRE (1-866-348-6479 and 1-877-842-6273) refers people in need of emergency food assistance to food pantries, government programs, and model grassroots organizations that work to improve access to healthy, nutritious food, and build self-reliance. Help is available on Monday through Friday from 9am-6pm EST. Hablamos español. The Hotline is funded in part by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

This article originally appeared in our monthly e-newsletter, the Clearinghouse Connection, which facilitates the exchange of information, resources and ideas among emergency food providers. To subscribe, email [email protected].

Christine Binder