Nine Months After Sandy Food Pantry Still Serving Coney Island

Superstorm Hurricane Sandy Left Many without Shelter and/or Food

Ever since Hurricane Sandy wreaked her havoc on the residents of Coney Island, the Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger has been bringing a mobile pantry to help feed residents there once a week. Over the course of the past nine months the Campaign has evolved from emergency mode to the long-term recovery, giving out food for about 500 families every Friday.

Now that summer is here even more families have been lining up to receive supplies.

“Families have their children at home, some are not in summer camps, and some are not going to some of the summer meals that are available,” says the Bed-Stuy Campaign’s Dr. Melony Samuels. “Families want to cook for the families. They want that bonding still and we don’t want to take that away from them.”

Now that the emergency has passed the goal of the Bed-Stuy Campaign is to meet the community’s dietary needs more individually.

“We’re bringing table choice, giving families an opportunity to say, ‘This is what meets my need. I would like this. I would rather not have this, because I cannot eat this, or I cannot make that,'” says Samuels.

Last year the campaign gave out about 1.8 million meals. This year they expect to give out close to 2.2 million.

“The demand has been so great that since the beginning of Sandy we have not left,” says Samuels.

The people of Coney Island are appreciative for the help. One resident said, “I work, but even a little something helps me.”

“They help a lot of people” said another resident. “They need it after Hurricane Sandy.”

The campaign stated that they will continue to bring food to the community as long as it is needed.


Shari has certainly been around the block. As a teacher, writer, former CEO and present day master chef, Shari can cover a human interest story with a flare and style hard to match anywhere. Born and raised in the streets, schools and institutions of Brooklyn, Shari is the epitome of Brooklyn life. Contact Shari at shari(at)