Cat Guarnieri Helping Feed Staten Island Families, Rebuild Homes

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, Cat Guarnieri galvanized a large team of volunteers to feed victims in Staten Island. A year later, she’s still at it.

As CBS 2’s Cindy Hsu reported, Guarnieri has made it her mission to keep giving back to her community. Volunteers for her group, Feeding Family, are growing vegetables at community gardens and cooking meals for 600 families a week.

“I guess what still pushes me to this day is the next generation,” Guarnieri said. “My girls are going to grow up here. And hopefully our children will be raising their children here. And it’s got to be the right place for them to do that.”

LINK: Feeding Family’s website

But the number of volunteers has not grown, so Guarnieri’s group has teamed up with several other nonprofits, including World Cares and Yellow Boots. Together, they’re helping families rebuild.

“We’re just doing the finishing touches on this home now, and hopefully their trick or treat will be to be back home,” said Mike Hoffman of Yellow Boots as he worked on a house in New Dorp.

A few blocks away, Guarnieri has also been working to repair Richie Holmes’ house.

“She’s just a bolt of lightning, and she just comes in and she whirls around. ‘We’re going to do this here. We’re going to do that there,'” Holmes said. “To look at her and to go, ‘Wow!’ This lady’s not getting paid for it. She just came in like a tornado and did everything.”

In the days after the storm, Guarnieri and her volunteers cooked and delivered about 3,000 meals a day to storm victims.

“When you get to this house and you watch someone get their hot food and they’re so appreciative, and you just made their entire day by knowing that they’re going to eat today,” she told Hsu last year.

Guarnieri said the groups need more volunteers, especially roofers, electricians and plumbers.

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