The National Pork Board’s (NPB) pork checkoff-funded event trailer is headed for the East Coast to help feed victims of Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record hit the northeast coast.

Although the storm impacted 24 states, the hurricane hit New York and New Jersey especially hard. It produced monumental flooding of streets, tunnels and subway lines, as well as cutting off electricity to parts of the city and its suburbs. Hundreds of thousands are still without power, and thousands of homes have been destroyed and the recovery will take months. What’s more, temperatures are dropping and a nor-easter is scheduled to hit the area on Wednesday, likely causing more flooding and adding snow to the mix.

To help those in need on the East Coast, pork producers from several states will be rolling up their sleeves to help feed their fellow Americans.  

“There are a number of details still to be worked out, but the event trailer, equipped with grills and cooking supplies, is on its way and we’re recruiting producers who can help,” says Conley Nelson, NPB president. “This is just another way pork producers demonstrate that they care for people and their communities.”

As for USDA, it is working with New York state as well as food banks to distribute 1.1 million pounds of food to storm victims in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland counties. USDA worked with New Jersey and local organizations last week to produce meals for victims in shelters there, the agency reports.

USDA also has approved requests from Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia to automatically reimburse food stamp recipients in certain counties for food lost in the storm.

Nelson points out that contributing to a better quality of life in producers’ communities is one of the six ethical principles of the We Careinitiative, a joint effort of the pork checkoff, through NPB, and the National Pork Producers Council.

“This is a great opportunity for producers to give back to those on the East Coast who have been hit hard by the hurricane,” Nelson says.

There are numerous national and local relief agencies working to help hurricane victims. For agricultural personnel who wish to contribute, here are links to three reputable relief organization websites:

http://www.redcross.org/hurricane-sandy?scode=RSG00000E017&subcode=paiddonationsbrand&gclid=CLqWkPDIsLMCFexAMgodjgIANQ

https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/disaster

http://feedingamerica.org/