Brooklyn restaurateur Allison Robicelli’s kitchen, located in Zone A in Sunset Park, suffered damage from Sandy and was still recuperating from a car accident, but that did not stop her from lending a helping hand.
She and her husband, Matt, immediately began collecting food, clothing and other items in their Bay Ridge basement. With help from other neighborhood volunteers, they donated thousands of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to those hardest hit. “It was really challenging,” she said. “We don’t have enough food and are trying to find a way to feed [many people].”
Robicelli, who also co-runs the family bakery business, soon realized that the damage was worse than she thought. So together with Justin Brannan, chief of staff for Councilmember Vincent Gentile, she founded Bay Ridge Cares, a brand new kitchen in the basement of St. Mary’s Church, staffed six days a week by volunteers who prepare 800 or more meals a day for storm survivors. Ingredients and transportation are donated from local groceries, greenmarkets and businesses.
Donations can be dropped off at the church at 81st Street and Ridge Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.