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Ida Destroys Those Meant to Help

By Violet Lazarus

RIDGEWOOD, NJ – Bergen County residents and businesses are still reeling from Ida’s destruction two weeks later. 

Bergen County’s food assistance and economic initiative, Feed the Frontlines, started a week ahead of schedule to help address the sudden increase in need. FEMA is deploying Disaster Assistance Teams throughout the county to help those affected apply for further assistance. Table to Table, North Jersey’s food rescue program, is faced with a surge in demand for their services, but has faced likely irreparable damage to their resources as well. 

“Without our trucks, we cannot deliver food,” said Ilene Isaacs, Executive Director for Table to Table. “Hurricane Ida had an overwhelming impact on Table to Table. This devastation is

affecting our organization far more than that experienced during Hurricane Sandy or even Covid.”

Julie Kinner, director of recipient relations and community affairs for Table to Table, said that the organization missed out on two days of deliveries because the area where their six refrigerated trucks were parked remained too flooded to access. The trucks are currently at the mechanic’s, but cannot be worked on until insurance adjusters can appraise the damage. 

Based on just looking at the vehicles, the mechanics said, the trucks are likely not salvageable. 

Table to Table is currently renting trucks to try and keep up with their usual routes, which is an expensive and complicated task since they require refrigerated trucks. 

Bergen County Commissioner and founder of the Bergen County Food Security Task Force Tracy Zur also lent the organization a van to help them with their pick ups and drop offs within the county. 

Kinner said Table to Table is hopeful that the insurance will cover the repair or replacement of the trucks, but if they need to be replaced, the wait will be long. 

“Before the madness in the world, it would take us six months to order a truck and actually get it. When we’re speaking to our truck leaser, he was telling us we can have another lease but we’re not going to get it until 2023,” Kinner said. “There’s just no trucks available.” 

In the meantime, Table to Table will need to continue to rent out trucks, and look for help from volunteers via their app. They are also seeking donations to help cover the cost of the trucks. 

Every dollar donated means the delivery of 10 healthy meals to a food insecure neighbor in New Jersey. 

Credit: https://www.tapinto.net/towns/ridgewood/

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