Red Hook venders gather, give out delectable delights

Red Hook venders gather, give out delectable delights
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

The chalupas and tamales are on us!

Red Hook’s beloved food vendors were back on their home turf dishing out more than 1,000 complimentary hot meals on Saturday to residents in one of the neighborhoods hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy — and hungry Hookers lined up to get their free fill.

“It means a whole lot to come out and get a hot meal,” Blee George, who has been heat and powerless since the storm, said as she took a bite of a chicken pupusa, a traditional Salvadorian dish from the renowned Solber Pupusas truck. “It’s a blessing.”

And one that took an online community of neighbors helping neighbors to make happen.

Ten Red Hook food trucks were able to raise more than $5,000 through an online campaign so they could feed the storm-ravaged residents.

Cesar Fuentes, the founder of the Red Hook Food Vendors organization said that donations ranging from $5 to $500 rolled in from do-gooders all over the country — and the globe.

“Every five dollars feeds a person,” he said. “It’s amazing that we were able to provide this food, which actually comes from the many people who cared.”

Hungry residents whose lives were uprooted by Hurricane Sandy were had their spirits lifted as they indulged in a warm, truck-cooked meal from one of the vendors stationed at the Red Hook ball fields on Bay Street.

“It’s encouraging to see the community helping out,” said Monsey Rodriguez, who was displaced after the storm-surge inundated her Van Brunt Street home. “I’m grateful that I’m still alive and for all the help that everybody has been giving us.”

Fuentes added that he even deliver dozens of trays to several community drop-off centers like the Red Hook Initiative and Calvary Baptist Church to ensure that residents who hadn’t got word of the free food wouldn’t go hungry.

“We just wanted to make that all the food we brought was just distributed and enjoyed at someone’s house or apartment that has no light,” said Fuentes.