In late October 2012 while SuperStorm Sandy was preparing to pummel Union Beach, New Jersey, Organic Valley’s American Singles van was also being prepped to head that way.
A group of storm-relief veterans filled the van with as much organic food, cooking supplies, and equipment as it could hold. Upon arrival, they set up tents, kitchens, and seating areas and began preparing organic meals. With the help of numerous volunteers and organizations they served breakfast, lunch and dinner and delivered sandwiches to surrounding neighborhoods. The multitude of helping hands served meals to roughly 2,000 community members each day for six weeks after the hurricane.
The community of Union Beach is grateful for the generous volunteers and organizations that have assisted them throughout the recovery process. Last week, Organic Valley received a certificate of recognition from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders for their community engagement and support during the storm’s aftermath. In a recent article published about the award, Union Beach Mayor, Paul J. Smith, Jr., describes this display of support as fantastic. He goes on to say it is an example of the direction we all need to go in, one in which we get back to a sense of humanity.
Truly fantastic is the unrelenting goodness of the human spirit. In the aftermath of Organic Valley’s own loss (the destruction of a portion of their headquarters due to fire), community members from near and far have given unstintingly to the cooperative. This award is yet another gift, particularly special, offering a welcomed burst of joy during such a trying time.
May such extraordinary displays of humanity remind us all that we are connected. And that together we are stronger, together we can heal.