Storm Whips Up Acts Of Kindness In Northeast

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Millions of New Yorkers and New Jersey residents are still reeling from Hurricane Sandy. But people in the region are looking out for one another. Good Samaritans have provided free meals, showers and clothes for those still without power and water. Host Scott Simon talks with David Weber, president of the New York City Food Truck Association, which helped provide 11,000 meals to needy New Yorkers on Friday.


This week's violent storm along the East Coast has left death, destruction, and a long recovery ahead. But it also whipped up acts of kindness. A lot of people lucky enough to have power, looped extension cords under their doors so that people could recharge their phones - the electronic lifelines that let friends and family know that they'd survived. A doctor in New York's East Village offered free medical care. Newark's mayor, Cory Booker, invited citizens over to use a vacant apartment in his building to relax, eat and get warm. The mayor sent a message over Twitter. Quote, "Police have reported zero looting, or crimes of opportunity, in Newark; and ceaseless reports of acts of kindness, abound everywhere."

In New York, a dozen food trucks fanned out to deliver free dumplings, tacos, cupcakes, and slices of thin-crust New York pizza; to areas with no power, in which food was spoiled and scarce. David Weber, president of the New York City Food Trucks Association - which organized the efforts - says Queens' Rockaway Peninsula looked especially hard-hit.

DAVID WEBER: We were getting reports back, from the trucks that were out there, that it's just been devastated. People have lost their homes and - you know, it was just really meaningful for them that someone was out there, to share what they could with them.

SIMON: They shared about 11,000 meals. And they'll do it again today, even traveling outside the city to reach people - though David Weber says a lot of people have longed for something almost as fundamental as hot food - hot water, to wash.

WEBER: I think if someone had a mobile shower truck, they would be even more popular than a mobile food truck.

SIMON: This weekend, many people - from Maryland to Manhasset - will probably witness their own acts of kindness. When the going gets tough, the truly tough are kind.


SIMON: This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.


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