I’m glad to have the opportunity to keep you updated on what is going on at God’s Love. Thank you for staying with us. Here is a round-up of our day yesterday and the plan for today.
Yesterday we reached more than 350 clients on 8 routes. We delivered a combination of frozen food (our new freezer kept everything frozen (at “0” degrees) even though the power has been off for days) and bags of non-perishable food. Each client received food for at least 3-4 days. They were most grateful for our getting to them and expressed their concern for the safety of our drivers and volunteers. I am always humbled by our clients concern for us.
We also provided 1,680 meals to the Bowery Mission.
We also provided the following to the Community Kitchens and Food Pantry of West Harlem (part of the Food Bank of NYC) at 116th Street:
1,800 Chuck’s Famous brownies
120 bags of non-perishable food
Daryl Foriest, director of food distribution at the pantry, made us a short video of thanks and what it means to work together as a community, especially during a time like this. Watch the video on YouTube.
We all feel great that we managed to use all the frozen food on hand, get to some clients, help others who are without power and provide food to those who are hungry. There are a lot of staff and volunteers who went to extraordinary lengths to get to work these last few days. I am proud of their commitment and so appreciative of their efforts.
Our greatest challenge now is the extreme shortage of gas. None of our drivers was successful in refilling their vehicle yesterday, even though they went to great lengths to get it done. We understand that the shortage will only get worse over the next day or so before more gas is trucked into the City.
However, today, with the available fuel that we have, we are going to eight routes today. Northernmost Manhattan, Midtown west, the east side between 34th and 85th, Forest Hills, Harlem/South Bronx and two Brooklyn routes covering the East River through Park Slope and also Crown Heights. The eighth route is in Staten Island, the hardest hit borough. Please send good energy for all of our drivers and their van assistant volunteers today.
The other challenge is the availability of food. As soon as our vendors get their own deliveries, we will get restocked, either with non-perishables or with fresh food, depending upon our power situation. Today, we received another delivery of non-perishables and we are assembling just over 500 additional “Sandy Bags,” which we will be able to deliver to additional clients on Monday.
Right now, we expect our power to return by Saturday night. If we can get food, we will bring in staff and volunteers on Sunday to get as much done as possible. If that’s not possible, we’ll push to Monday or even Tuesday. What we are able to accomplish will depend on the availability of food and gas.
So many of you have asked how you can help during this crisis. I so appreciate your support and outreach. Right now, we are fine with the skeletal staff and small number of volunteers we have at the building. We can only do so much without power, limited access to food and vans with little gas.
Once we’re back up and running, we would welcome your help in the kitchen and on our vans. We will have a lot of catching up to do and all hands will be appreciated. We will continue to keep you and our God’s Love community up-to-date with our operations as much as possible over the next few days. Please join us on Facebook and Twitter and please check back here on our website.
For now, we are proud of what we’ve accomplished, and look forward to getting back to full services sometime next week.