NEPTUNE, N.J. (AP) — The Sandy relief fund chaired by New Jersey first lady Mary Pat Christie has raised more than $32 million so far.
But four months after the superstorm, none of that aid has reached storm victims yet.
In an interview with the Asbury Park Press, the first lady pointed to the logistical challenge of starting a charity from scratch and the relief fund’s focus on addressing long-term recovery needs, instead of short-term relief.
She also cited her own “methodical” approach to putting the proper resources and safeguards in place as reasons for the delay.
Mrs. Christie says it was never the intent for the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund to quickly provide monetary aid directly to storm victims. Instead, the plan was to lend support to reputable nonprofit groups that will be providing victims with financial assistance and other services in the months and years to come.
The relief fund plans to distribute $1 million in grants this week, with another $5 million to follow several weeks after that.