Where to Eat, Donate, and Volunteer for Sandy Relief This Week [Updated]


Originally published 11/04/12

Your city needs you, reader! The simplest thing you can do to be helpful now, and in the weeks ahead, is to head to places hit by Sandy and eat (and drink!) at the small, independently owned restaurants and bars that have opened again. Your business will help them bounce back.

For volunteer opportunities by neighborhood and by skill, needs are changing by the hour, and the most useful resource to you is Twitter. Follow @occupysandy, @sandyrelief, @rhookinitiative, @coneyislandfun, @newyorkcares to find out how to assist right now. This google map is a bit hard to navigate, but comprehensive — it shows you where fuel, food, and volunteer stations can be found all over the city.


Support The Good Fork, a small, seven-year-old restaurant in Red Hook whose basement and dining room were flooded, damaging furniture, kitchen equipment, and inventory. GF is looking for $50,000 so they can reopen. Donate here.

Support Bait & Tackle, Red Hook’s popular dive bar which stayed open throughout the storm. The basement was flooded, inventory and equipment were damaged, and power has still not been restored, making cleanup efforts a huge challenge. The B&T team is raising money via Kickstarter to redo the electrical, floors, repair the bar and basement, and recover the taxidermy. Donate here.

Support Cobble Hill café Ted & Honey, whose new commercial kitchen in the Brooklyn Navy Yard was destroyed in the storm. The kitchen served as a base for the company’s catering business, Parker Red. Help T&H rebuild by donating here.

Support the severely flooded Dumbo restaurant, Governor, by donating to its recovery efforts. 10% of the donations will be shared with other local businesses in need. Donate here.

Support Cowgirl Sea-Horse on Front Street. The restaurant’s windows were blown out, and the walls, equipment, and furniture were seriously damaged by five feet of water. Donate here.

Support Dumbo bakery One Girl Cookies. Although the mural survived, the windows were broken. Refrigerators, freezers, brewers, grinders, and the espresso machine will need replacement or repair. The walls have to be ripped out and replaced. Donate here.

Give to Restore Red Hook, organized by the local bars, restaurants, and independent shops that have been devastated, without flood insurance, and have no sense yet of when they’ll be able to re-open. Donate here. And: All proceeds from sales of Baked’s Red Hook Red Velvet cupcakes will go to RRH.

Saturday, November 10
Ivan Orkin will be serving 300 bowls of ramen today at Smorgasburg on Saturday; all proceeds will go toward Sandy relief.

As temperatures drop, it’s getting very hard to stay warm for those without power. Donate clean blankets at any of The Meatball Shop locations and get a free order of meatballs (84 Stanton; 64 Greenwich; 170 Bedford, Brooklyn).

Eat at Bowery Diner (241 Bowery) now through Sunday and tweet a photo of yourself to @smoothdude, the photographer Daniel Krieger. For every photo he gets, he’ll be donating $5 to Red Hook Initiative.

Monday, November 12
Make a reservation at Indochine (430 Lafayette St.) or Acme (9 Great Jones St.) and half of your evening’s check with be donated to New York Cares for Sandy relief.

Head to Midtown pub The Three Monkeys (236 W. 54th St.) where all staff tips and profits from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. will be donated locally for Sandy relief. We hear there will be a raffle too, with prizes that include tickets to Broadway shows.

Wednesday, November 14
The Tasting Table crew is hosting a cocktail party with open bar and hearty snacks at their swanky test kitchen ($100/ticket). All sales will benefit the Food Bank for New York City and TT will match the donations. Bring along nonperishable food, batteries, and blankets, and TT will get them to the right place. Buy tickets here.

Thursday, November 13
Frank Prisinzano’s Lower East Side restaurant Sauce will donate all profits from their happy hour (6 – 8 p.m.; 78 Rivington St.) to the Bowery Mission and will be collecting coats for those in need.

Saturday, November 17
Maharlika (111 1st Ave.) is hosting a benefit brunch with a silent auction, entertainment, and modern Filipino food. Details to follow.


Give to the NYC Food Truck Association, which is sending vendors to hard-hit neighborhoods to donate hot food. Last week their fleet served thousands of hot meals to Staten Island, the Rockaways, and Red Hook. Donate here. Keep track of the trucks here.

Food trucks are proving to be valuable as mobile kitchens post-Sandy, responding generously, quickly, and efficiently to those in need. The Red Hook Food Vendors are a group of 10 independently-owned trucks that park around the Red Hook ball fields in season. Give them money for overhead expenses such as fuel and food, and they will serve 1,000 hot meals to Red Hook on Saturday, November 10. Donate here.

Give to the Tunnel to Towers foundation, helping those on the New York City and New Jersey coastlines. Text 80888 to donate $10 or donate here, where you can actually choose to send funds to Staten Island and Long Island, for example.

City Harvest is delivering food to Coney Island, Staten Island, and the Rockaways, which were hit extremely hard and need serious assistance right now. To make a food donation, reach out to Racine Rodriguez at 347-443-8413 or To volunteer, reach out to Brittany Erdman at 516-287-0170 or Find more information here.

Give to the Mayor’s Fund to support immediate needs for NYC, such as water, food, and hygiene supplies, and long-term restoration efforts. Donate here.

Many people across Red Hook are still without water and power and Red Hook Initiative is helping them get by. Donate money to their relief effort; bring non-perishable food and clean blankets; or volunteer your time to deliver these items to locals.

Coney Island needs hot food to feed about 1,500 people each day, many of whom are senior citizens. As of Monday, they also need non-perishable food, water, warm clothing, and various medications. To coordinate bringing supplies to CI, call Pamela Harris of Coney Island Generation Gap at 917-592-2719 or email her at

Give directly to Snug Harbor, the 83-acre park along the northern shore of Staten Island. The cultural center has had its trees uprooted and split, its dock toppled, its telephone wires and fences destroyed. You’ll find the ‘donate‘ button halfway down the page on the left side.

Give to the American Red Cross which provides food and shelter for those whose homes were damaged and flooded in the storm, and for those without electricity. Donate here. And: For every Rally Shake you buy at Shake Shack locations across the city, $2 will be donated to the Red Cross.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers are homeless post-Sandy. If you have a spare room, consider making it available via Airbnb for free or at a very low rate.

Hey, it’s a really good time to give blood.

Reminder: Restaurant owners who sustained losses can apply for federal disaster relief by registering here or calling 1-800-621-3362. FEMA can offer unemployment payments for as long as 26 weeks for workers who lost jobs. Restaurant owners registered with FEMA can also apply for disaster loans. SBA provides loans as high as $2 million for small businesses with property damage or loss of cash flow. (1-800-659-2955 or

Lifts All is pairing unaffected restaurants in NYC with the ones in bad shape. Sponsor restaurants will donate a portion of sales and share a percentage of tip pools from now through Sunday, November 11 to cover lost wages for hourly employees, lost inventory, re-opening costs, rebuilding costs, and other needs not covered by insurance, FEMA, or other sources. Visit for more information.