While the entire nation turns their attention towards this week's tragic events in Moore, Oklahoma, there's still a great need at the Jersey Shore almost seven months after Superstorm Sandy came crashing in.

Mark Wilson, Getty Images

Although many of the boardwalks around the state will be ready in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, things aren't entirely back to normal.

In fact, there's still a lot more work to be done. Thousands are still dealing with an uncertain future, either living in motels or rentals, not sure what to do. There are still homes and businesses in ruins, debris in several communities and even towns that have yet to fully cleanup and add up all the damage estimates. Ortley Beach in Ocean County is one, in particular. Work continues over in Mantoloking to clean up and dismantle destroyed homes that have become unsalvageable.

No one knows that better than Patricia Donaghue, who runs the People's Pantry in Toms River.

While many will be taking in the sights, sounds and smells of a summer at the shore this weekend, there are many who are still looking for food, clothing, furniture and other items trying to pick up the smashed pieces of their lives.

"While it's great the boardwalk will be ready and tourists will be back, we are still in crisis mode. Believe it or not, we are still getting close to 600 people coming through our doors each week - even this long after the storm. There are lots of visual reminders out there. We can always use the extra help."

Donaghue credits a lot of the efforts to her volunteers. Their operation, which started days after Sandy hit, is more than a pantry. It's a family of grassroot non-profit organizations coming together to provide all of the resources our storm damaged community needs.

Their goal is to provide one central hub for all of the services needed by our storm damaged community. Whether you are looking for food, crews to work on your home, or just someone to talk to, they are here for you. If for whatever reason we cannot help you, we will point you in a better direction.

As of today, they still need paper towels and toilet paper, pasta and tomato sauce, tuna fish, laundry and dish detergent, new pillows, suitcases, blankets, cat, kitten, and dog food, Vicks Vapor Rub, cleaning supplies, contractor bags, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, jelly, adult underwear (new), dry milk, sugar, tea, soda, salad dressing, bread quart size zip lock bags, hairspray, gel, mousse, antibiotic creams, double, queen and king sized sheets, alcohol swabs, plastic cups and flashlights.

"We will take whatever we can get and we appreciate the outpouring of support."

The warehouse is located at 1001 Fischer Boulevard in Toms River

Hours of Operation

  • Tue: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Wed: 3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • Thu: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Fri: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Sat: 10:00 a.m. - 3.:00 p.m.

For more information on how you can donate, contact The People's Pantry at 631-235-1513 or visit their Facebook page.