Mass. groups spread aid to storm victims

Organizations across Massachusetts are pitching in to provide supplies and other assistance for residents of other states ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

A tractor-trailer from the Greater ­Boston Food Bank filled with bottled water was on its way Friday to Connecticut, which will be followed by two more trucks carrying 22,000 pounds of food and other supplies to New York and New Jersey Saturday, said Erin Caron, a spokeswoman for the food bank.

“All of our volunteers are working to send down items that are appropriate, mostly foods that are high in protein, hearty meal options, soups, tuna, peanut butter, things easy to eat,” ­said Caron, who has been working with other food banks in the Northeast to coordinate assistance. “We’re trying to keep on top of whatever the need is.”


The organization also plans to send cleaning supplies, which have been in high- ­demand in storm-stricken locations. (To donate, go to ­

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The Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts deployed volunteers to places hit the hardest by the hurricane, including their office manager Jeanne Cristiano, who is in Breezy Point in Queens, where 111 homes burned to the ground, to help feed and shelter those who have lost their homes or do not have electricity.

“Lots of the residents have come back and started to clean up,” Cristiano said, adding that houses have been “turned upside down” by the blaze and that several are still smoldering.

“I was talking with a woman who had lost her home, standing knee-deep in water, and she thanked me and the Red Cross for being there. In spite of all the devastation, the human spirit is still there,” Cristiano said.

The Red Cross was stationed in New York and New Jersey before the storm began, and 50 trailers have been delivered to the area filled with food and other supplies, Cristiano said.


In Massachusetts, the Red Cross is assisting 68 people in their shelters and has sent teams to assess the damage to areas affected the worst, said Kat Powers, spokeswoman for the Eastern Massachusetts Red Cross. “We’re getting calls for support, and we’re concerned on how we’re going to pay for this operation, but we’re spending money where money is needed,” Powers said.

(To donate or volunteer, go to the Red Cross website,, or call 800-733-2767.)

Boston is sending a team of employees from the Boston Centers for Youth and Families to help run an emergency shelter in New York for seven to 14 days, Mayor Thomas M. ­Menino announced Friday. The city will also provide three generators to the New York City Fire Department.

United Way has established a hurricane recovery fund, where contributions will be used to aid those who are in ­declared disaster areas with short- and long-term recovery needs. The fund is also working with Mass 2-1-1 to help recruit volunteers for the relief work, the organizations said.

Eight members from the Massachusetts National Guard will be sent to New York for a few weeks to coordinate warehouse operations and issue supplies that are brought into the state, said MEMA spokesman Peter Judge.


All parishes in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston will have a special collection the weekend of Nov. 10 and 11 to raise money for those affected by Sandy in Haiti, Cuba, and communities along the East Coast, the archdiocese said Friday.

The archdiocese asked that donors address checks to their parish, with “Hurricane Sandy Relief” in the memo line. After collections end, each parish will send one check for the combined contributions to the archdiocese.

Sarah N. Mattero can be
reached at sarah.mattero@