Volunteers bring hot meals to seniors amid power outages

A sizable portion of Neptune is still in the dark more than 48 hours after a storm struck the shore community.
Volunteers came together Wednesday to make and deliver hot meals to some of the town’s more vulnerable residents, who have had to throw out a lot of their perishable food due to the lack of power. This included the elderly, disabled and those living in affordable housing.
Neighbors Robert Wagner and Ray Ellmer say that they are both disabled and on fixed incomes, so losing too much of their food will hurt.
“Some stuff got soft and ruined real quick,” Wagner says. “So we took it out.”
Volunteers from the Neptune Senior Center brought over some baked ziti Wednesday night for the neighbors to enjoy. Ellmer says that it was greatly appreciated.
“It’s great having someone walk around here, taking care of us and giving us meals,” he says.
The food was provided by the food bank Fulfill of Monmouth and Ocean County. It was prepared and packed up by the Salvation Army. Each meal has a name and address – which is then delivered by volunteers – including Neptune Mayor Carol Rizzo.
“They don't have the income. When you have to throw away a fridge full of food, no one is paying you back. So this is giving them a start. And I’m hoping the community comes together to help,” the mayor says.
The volunteers delivered more than 600 meals Wednesday.
“Food insecurity has many different causes and its always difficult life circumstances - maybe lost a job, or something else, or maybe there was a power outage,” says Fulfill director of advocacy Barbara Scholz.
Mayor Rizzo says that about 25-30% of the town is still without power as of Wednesday night.