Before and After are the Same

According to the amazing ‘Map the Gap’ resource on Feeding America’s site, 13.5% of the residents of New Jersey are considered “Food Insecure”. This is a number that is growing to include the number of people who, as a result of Hurricane Sandy, are now homeless or have endured a great financial loss. People who previously may not have known hunger or been in a panic over where they are going to sleep that night are suddenly faced with a harsh reality that 1,190,130 people in New Jersey already have known for too long.

With a natural disaster there is a clear before and after moment. “On Saturday we had a house and on Monday we did not.”

For people who were without before the storm that line is not so clear. They experienced a backwards evolution, a slow slope before the drop. It is finding yourself unemployed, followed by not being able to afford your mortgage/rent, followed by no longer being able to afford food.

The homeless, pre Sandy, are now joined by thousands of displaced people.

From City Limits:
“Last Sunday night, 24 hours before Sandy swept through the city, Dennis Williams became the first New Yorker to have his habitat drenched. Sleeping in his regular spot on the boardwalk of West Harlem Piers Park – a few feet away from the increasingly turbulent Hudson River – Williams was suddenly sprayed with seawater brought in by a fierce gust.”

I am truly amazed by the generosity of Americans (and people from around the world) during the post Sandy crisis. Please, please continue to work together to help your community.

I would also like to quietly remind you that within your community there are people who were suffering before Sandy and they still need your help and attention as well. Yes, please DO continue to box up donations for disaster victims, but please also consider dropping off a donation to a homeless shelter as well. Use the homeless shelter directory if you need assistance in locating the shelter closest to you.

Not having a home, not having food – it’s a horrible place to be.


  1. Love you.

  2. Oh goodness the numbers are mind-boggling. Thank you for sharing the map.

  3. I try to donate to our local foodbank on a regular basis.

  4. Thanks for reminding us of these facts. This storm may have passed but it’s effects will be felt for a long time and we all need to help.

  5. I absolutely know the feeling. Over the last few years my family has taken one hit after another. We’ve managed this far to stay barely above water. We have a landlord who has allowed to make weekly “rent payments”. We were (sadly) fortunate enough to finally qualify for foodstamps. A few days ago I found out my landlord is selling our home. I don’t know what that means for us- where we will go. At the same time, my husband is >thisclose< to obtaining a full time position with better pay, but I'm scared to death. Will that put us over the income guidline? Are we going to lose our food benefits? Will we make enough then, to cover food AND rent? I don't think I've ever been so frightened of the future.

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