Months after Superstorm Sandy swept across the North Fork, workers who were left without jobs after the restaurants where they were employed were damaged or shut down are struggling to survive.
According to Miriam Sostre, office manager at Community Action of Southold Town -- the Greenport-based organization provides services including a food pantry, clothes, and assistance with heating and other issues to the less fortunate -- many workers are unemployed after Sandy and unable to provide basic necessities for their families.
'Sandy has affected a lot of our area restaurants," Sostre said. "Sandy put a lot of those people out of work. A lot of those workers are coming in for help."
Needed, Sostre said, are warm clothes and food items to stock the pantry.
"They are coming for help to get fuel oil to warm themselves up," Sostre said. "They're not working. They have no other source of income. I feel horrible. They come in and say, 'I need something. My job was closed after the storm.'"
Many workers, she said, have no idea when restaurants that sustained Sandy damage, and others by the harbor in Greenport Village, will reopen. Bill Claudio told Patch after Sandy his businesses are expected to be open by summer.
"Those restaurants hire workers from around here and it's affecting us a lot," Sostre said.
To that end, a "Have A Heart Dinner" to benefit CAST will be held Friday night at Peconic Landing, with seatings at 5 and 7 p.m. For information and reservations, call 631-477-1717. Tickets can also be purchased at the door; adults, $20; children under 12, $10.
Donations are also accepted at CAST, Sostre said. Diapers and wipes, cereal, juices and spaghetti are always needed, as well as warm sweaters, coats, jackets, scarves and hats for children and adults.
"They can't get anything," Sostre said.