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East Village Green Deli Delivered Hot Meals in Wake of Sandy

The deli operated with their gas oven and delivered a number of free meals for residents following the storm.

East Village Green Deli supplied hot meals for residents, delivering free meals to customers after Sandy.
East Village Green Deli supplied hot meals for residents, delivering free meals to customers after Sandy.
Story and photos by Nicole Murphy.

Lifelong Levittown resident Rich DeSantis takes pride in his business and his hometown. When DeSantis saw Levittown residents struggling after Superstorm Sandy, he used his own setbacks as a way to give back to his community.

Owner of East Village Green Deli, DeSantis lost thousands of dollars worth of food and potential sales when Superstorm Sandy knocked out power for 12 days. Luckily for DeSantis and more than 30 local families, the deli operates with a gas oven and the staff was able to open each morning for breakfast.

"We cook with gas, so we were able to open and make egg sandwiches and some hot food," said DeSantis, a graduate of Division Avenue High School. "With no power, we were losing a lot of meat. To avoid losing more, we cooked everything that we could and sent the food to different customers that we knew could use it."

The deli delivered a bunch of free meals to customers and also gave out food and items in the store that would have went bad. DeSantis said he felt privileged to be able to help his community through the storm and the response was well worth the hard work.

"I've lived here since 1960 and I've never seen anything like this," DeSantis explained. "It was devastating and I couldn't stand by and let people go without a meal. I offered what I could give."

"It was just me and one other guy in here cooking," he added. "It was so cold and we had no lights, but we had flashlights and we stood by the grill to keep warm. When we delivered the meals, the families thought it was just great. They were so happy and joyful to have it."

According to DeSantis, the deli regained power on Nov. 9 and his been operating with regular business hours ever since. The aftermath of Sandy cost them nearly $14,000 in lost sales as well as $20,000 in product that had to be thrown away, but DeSantis said he's confident they will recover just fine.

The East Village Green Deli, located at 6 East Village Grn., will be open Thanksgiving Day from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. fully equipped with Thanksgiving meals including turkey, side dishes and an assortment of pies. Orders can be placed in advanced over the phone or in-person. Call (516) 796-1234 for more info.

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Rick November 21, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Rich is a great guy!!! Its so nice to hear a heartwarming story!!
Ann Torcivia November 22, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I think what rich did for the community was a great thing. He knew his food was going to be lost so why not give it away to those who had no power. what an angel we have in our community. Thank you rich for all you do.
Mary Stewart November 23, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Best deli in Levittown. I love their egg sandwiches and Rich is a great guy.
Kevin Cunningham November 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM
FINALLY, a REAL deli at the East Village Green! Clean and fresh food. Richie always has a smile, and once again he demonstrates his love for the community and its residents with his kind deeds during the storm. Also supports the local youth organizations. Richie really gets it. Lets show him our support and gratitude.

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