With the Holiday season in full swing, Hurricane Sandy could not have struck at a worse time for a local food bank.
Members of the Community Food Bank of NJ tell NBC10 their client list has skyrocketed, as people who normally give to those in need during this time of year are now among the needy. Lines of Sandy victims in need of food wrapped around the Patsy Wallace Senior Community Center in Atlantic City on Tuesday.
“It’s way busier than I thought,” said Kimberly Arroyo of the Community Food Bank. “We came here trying to serve at least 500 families but we’re seeing at least a thousand. The probability of us running out of food is very possible.”
“I’ve never been in a situation like this in my life,” said Santa Gist. “I used to help and now I’m coming for help. It’s hard.”
Jennifer Wolfe of Brigantine has a 6-year-old son and works in retail. She tells NBC10 it’s her first time ever visiting a food bank.
“I’ve never had to get food before but it was free and I lost all my food,” said Wolfe.
The Brigantine home where she was raised and where her family planned to have Thanksgiving was flooded with five feet of water. It now must be demolished.
“The food from inside the house washed away outside the house,” said Wolfe.
With Thanksgiving a week away, the Food Bank is desperate for food, funds and volunteers.
““We’re getting turkeys donated by casinos and restaurants," said Margie Barham, the executive director of the Community Food Bank. "It's a double whammy. It really is."