Sandy Levels Social Barrier on Jersey Shore

Rich and Poor Towns United in Misery and Determination

Force of Nature: The Jersey shore has long been plagued by divisions between rich and poor towns. Sandy hit them both equally hard.
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Force of Nature: The Jersey shore has long been plagued by divisions between rich and poor towns. Sandy hit them both equally hard.

By Reuters

Published November 04, 2012.
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“The storm has brought out the goodwill in everyone, an appreciation of the community,” said Ed Johnson, mayor of Asbury Park, which has 16,000 residents. “We’re all working together.”

Alberta Smith, 61, who lives in Asbury Park on Medicaid and food stamps, said she was overjoyed on Saturday to get a hot meal a second day in a row, served at a community center in Asbury Park and prepared by an interfaith organization.

Friday’s meat loaf “melted in your mouth,” she said. The chicken vegetable medley and mashed potatoes served on Saturday were good, too.

Smith appreciated the meals because she had to throw out the perishable food in her refrigerator that spoiled when power failed. Her canned goods, she said, went only so far.

HELPING FAMILY MEMBERS

When Sandy knocked out power, Smith knew her aunt Thelma Wilson would be in trouble because the oxygen machine she uses would not work.

“I went to her house to keep her calm - been sitting with her everyday,” Smith said as she placed a second hot meal in a bag to take to her aunt.

The Reverend Kevin Nunn, a pastor with the interfaith group, went from table to table handing out new socks. He gave Smith two pairs.

“The pastor’s a fine man and this is a fine town,” she said.

Ten miles south in Bay Head, a four-block-wide community of about 900 year-round residents between the Atlantic and Barnegat Bay, there was so much sand covering the town that several people said it looked like a moonscape.


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