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Red Cross: 5 feeding centers open for LIers

Red Cross volunteers distribute food packages in front

Red Cross volunteers distribute food packages in front of the H. Lee Dennison building to people whose power is still out in the surrounding area. (Nov. 2, 2012) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The American Red Cross on Long Island has five feeding centers in operation Friday in both Nassau and Suffolk counties, a spokesman said.

The relief agency plans to have the five centers open on the weekend -- though the schedule for those hasn't yet been set.

At the same time, the Red Cross is surveying other hard-hit communities such as Lindenhurst and others on the South Shore. It plans to provide food and other relief to them, Craig Cooper, a volunteer public affairs supervisor for American Red Cross on Long Island.

On Friday, the following Red Cross centers are open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Hauppauge: H. Lee Dennison Building, 100 Veterans Memorial Hwy.

Riverhead: Riverhead County Center, 210 Center Dr.

Mastic Beach: Mastic Fire House, 1080 Mastic Rd.

Seaford: Cedar Creek Park, 3340 Merrick Rd.

Lido Beach: Nickerson Beach Park, 880 Lido Blvd.

Cooper, a Smithtown resident who also volunteers as a national spokesman for the Red Cross, spoke in a phone interview from his vehicle early Friday morning as he waited in line for gasoline at a station that had just had its electricity restored and had started pumping fuel for the first time since the storm hit.

Cooper said he had not cleared his statements ahead of time with the charity's national organization, but he spoke as an individual volunteer when he expressed sympathy for Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro -- who lashed out Thursday at the Red Cross's storm relief response.

Molinaro said the American Red Cross "is nowhere to be found" in Staten Island, and he criticized what he said was an inadequate New York City and federal relief response to his borough.

"We completely understand where elected officials would react as the borough president did," Cooper said. "Our hearts go out to everyone on Staten Island. People are desperate. We know people are hungry and cold. The guy had a right to be upset."

Cooper said that at the same time Molinaro was publicly criticizing the Red Cross, the organization had "a massive mobile feeding station was on its way" to Staten Island.


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