Direct Relief was on the ground, responding to urgent requests for nutritional and medical supplies in Newark, New Jersey shortly after the area witnessed devastation from Hurricane Sandy.
Flooding, power outages, transportation disruptions, fuel shortages, and cold temperatures played havoc with the health and well-being of large numbers of people from all walks of life. Newark Community Health Centers, Inc (NCHC), one of Direct Relief’s partners, was a lifeline for the many of the city’s poorest residents. One of the largest federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) in the country, NCHC treats more than 100,000 patient encounters annually.
Following the storm, NCHC attentively tracked risks of nutritional shortages and chronic healthcare treatment disruptions for their mostly low-income patient population. According to Janice Woodford, NCHC’s director of nursing, when the power went out many people who were already food insecure lost what food they did have due to failure of their refrigerators. Re-purchasing food became a significant hardship.
With the help of generous donations from Abbott and rapid transportation from FedEx, Direct Relief supplied essential nutritional products to NCHC for immediate distribution to their patients, just days after power was restored. As Newark continues to recover, Direct Relief will remain in close contact with our partners like NCHC to make sure that essential health needs continue to be met.