Newark, N.J. — Volunteers with the North Carolina Baptist Men and Women are in New Jersey, hoping to bring a ray of light to communities left in the dark by Hurricane Sandy.
"It is an unnatural feeling almost to ride through a town with no electricity, no street lights, no building lights," said Jerry Causey. He and others are preparing 15,000 meals per day in Newark, New Jersey, working on the campus of Rutgers University.
The Baptist Men deployed a new, specially equipped trailer to serve as kitchen and cafeteria.
They give the food to Red Cross volunteers, nearly 30 of them from the Triangle, who deliver the food to shelters and neighborhoods where people need it.
"The amount of damage was surprising to those who got out there," said Barry Porter, executive director of the Triangle Red Cross.
All across the Northeast, the basics are hard to come by. The infrastructure knocked out by the storm hurts those who live there and makes it tough for visitors who want to help.
Drivers waited for hours to fuel up across New York City's five boroughs Friday. Power outages prevented some gas stations that had fuel from being able to pump it, officials said, and fuel supplies themselves were badly disrupted by the storm.
"We have had a serious problem with propane delivery and diesel delivery," Causey said.
Porter said the gridlock caused by subway shutdowns and the lack of electricity hamper volunteer work as well.
But both men agree, the hard work will pay off, even if patience is the greatest gift right now.
"The people are so appreciative, it makes it all worthwhile to do," Causey said.