ADAMS -- Food, funds and comfort made up a Hurricane Sandy relief package delivered to New Jersey by resident Wayne Piaggi on Sunday, the bulk of these coming express from Northern Berkshire.
Piaggi, a trucker for Swift Transportation, said Tuesday "everything went great" in driving the tractor trailer of supplies to the area, and that they were accepted with many thanks by the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Coun ties in Neptune, N.J.
The donations included a $2,000 check from "Northern Berkshire Hurricane Relief," a fund Piaggi established with Greylock Federal Credit Un ion to allow Berkshires residents to donate locally; baby food, diapers, canned goods, clothing, toiletries, cleaning supplies and more.
The haul also included some nonessentials that Piaggi said struck just the right chord among staff and others at the food bank.
These were teddy bears and other stuffed animals, along with eight colorful hand-knitted blankets made by students and staff at Emma L. Miller Elementary School on Chapel Road in Savoy.
"I hand delivered those to the head of the food bank, and they were going to get them out to the little kids," Piaggi said. "It was a personal touch, and it really hit home."
The school's principal, Anne Mahoney, said the blankets were made by fourth- and fifth-grade students with help from teachers and staff.
"We had fun," Mahoney said. "The kids were enthusiastic and they really felt like
Mahoney said the blankets were intended for children, with "different patterns and colors and shapes." She called the effort "kids helping kids."
A regular New York-New Jersey commuter due to his work, Piaggi initially felt compelled to do something after viewing the destruction and suffering caused in the region by Hurricane Sandy early this month. Since then, Piaggi's used his tractor-trailer truck to deliver locally donated supplies to the food bank.
Though collections are closed, Piaggi said the Northern Berkshire Hurricane Relief account continues to take donations.
"I'm going to cut another check and bring it down to them before Christmas," Piaggi said. "The need is still out there to do something. These people are going to be hurting for a very long time."
During the storm, the dense population of these coastal areas proved an especially disastrous area for flooding. Hundreds of thousands of homes have been damaged and stripped of basic utilities in Sandy's wake.
Piaggi said money donations are immediately useful and serve a multitude of needs, remarking that food bank employees were "ecstatic" at the most recent check he had to deliver.
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