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Peapod, nonprofit help Hurricane Sandy families rebuild


NEW YORK, N.Y. — As the six month anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches, online grocery service Peapod is teaming up with Family-to-Family, Inc. to launch a 90-day campaign to restock the kitchen cupboards of families still struggling from the effects of the storm.

Through its website, Family-to-Family has provided a simple way for donors across the country to click, order and share a “Comforts of Home Welcome Home Box” for affected families. For $62, the care packages are filled with basic food essentials for selected hurricane-affected families in Staten Island, The Rockaways, Brooklyn, New York City and Ocean County, N.J. Peapod by Stop & Shop, an Ahold company, will fulfill the orders and deliver the groceries to each recipient family’s doorstep. Peapod has also committed to donating a matching box for the first 200 bought by donors and has offered to waive all delivery fees.

“It’s been six months since the hurricane hit and many families are still struggling, financially and emotionally, to put the broken pieces of their lives back together,” says Pam Koner, founder and executive director of Family-to-Family. “’Comforts of Home’ boxes will help these families in a concrete way and also let them know they haven’t been forgotten.”

Boxes will include flour, sugar, herbs and spices, olive oil, oatmeal, breadcrumbs, peanut butter and jelly, black beans, rice, pasta, cereal and condiments. Recipient families can choose from three food types: regular, low-sodium or diabetic.

“This is the best kind of delivery we can make,” said Peg Merzbacher, director of marketing for Peapod. “The kitchen, and the food in it, is the centerpiece and heart of every home, so it’s so important that we are able to help families affected by Sandy rebuild with these essentials.”

In addition, donors can purchase a second box, also for $62, for the family they’re helping — a “Clean-up Box” — filled with household cleaning supplies including laundry detergent and bathroom and kitchen cleaners also supplied by Peapod.

Joining Family-to-Family’s efforts, the NYC chapter of Wgirls Inc. has pledged $20,000 to both supplement the “Comforts of Home Welcome Home Box” effort and support Family-to-Family’s mission to meet the future needs of hurricane victims as they arise.

A national hunger and poverty relief organization, Family-to-Family creates one-to-one connections, matching donors across the U.S. with specific families in need. Since the hurricane hit, Family-to-Family has provided Hurricane Sandy victims with pillows, blankets, air mattresses, clothing, kitchen items, small appliances, holiday toys and dinners, space heaters, cleaning products, cell phones and children’s art therapy programs.

Peapod was founded in 1989 and currently serves 24 U.S. markets in communities in the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It has made more than 23 million deliveries since its late 1980s inception.

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