Outer Banks, N.C. - It's been 5 months since Hurricane Sandy sent water from the Atlantic Ocean flooding into the Beach Food Pantry on the Outer Banks.
Now, after two moves and a lot of sweat equity, the Beach Food Pantry is celebrating a new beginning.
Lorna Ernst, Beach Food Pantry President, recalls the floodwater that Sandy brought to their old location on the Bypass.
"We weren't even able to go in the pantry for at least three or four days," Ernst explained. "Once inside, we were walking knee deep in flour and sugar that's all wet with mildewy water - you know the old location was awful when we got in there."
It was then that the Beach Food Pantry realized they would have to find a new, permanent home.
"Our mission is to help people in a crisis and we're having a crisis . So the very first thing we decided when we landed was - we have to move," Ernst explained.
The Beach Food Pantry moved to a temporary home for two-months before landing at their new permanent location in Kitty Hawk near mile 3.5 where they've signed a 5-year-lease.
Along the way, they've also experienced the generosity of the Taking Action and Getting Results Community on the Outer Banks.
"We had food coming in from every where! Businesses from around the area were all doing food drives. Individuals dropping stuff off. Checks being dropped off," Ernst explained.
Donations of new refrigerators and freezers to replace the ones destroyed by Sandy, money to cover moving costs and even office equipment to furnish the new location have put the Beach Food Pantry on solid ground once again and has positioned them for the future.
"This was a blessing in disguise. I mean - I wouldn't want to do it again, especially moving twice, but just we came out stronger," Ernst commented.
To find out more about the Beach Food Pantry and how you can Take Action to help, visit their website here.