LONG ISLAND, NY —May 1, 2017 — They’ve served with dedication, duty and honor, yet some veterans of the United States armed services, upon returning to civilian life, face financial hardships and other challenges, including joblessness and food insecurity. Thanks to a $75,000 grant from Walmart, Island Harvest Food Bank’s Operation: HOPE mobile food pantry will be able to continue to provide food and vital social services to in-need veterans and families of active-duty military personnel.
Island Harvest Food Bank’s Operation: HOPE mobile food pantry, launched in 2011, is a specially designed refrigerated van that serves veterans and military families in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Staffed by volunteers, most of whom are veterans, the Operation: HOPE vehicle brings much-needed food, household supplies and personal-care products directly to Long Island veterans and military families. The Operation: HOPE program also provides vital information and referrals that link veterans and military families to benefits and services that can help them through their economic difficulties and other issues they may be facing.
Walmart’s support of Operation: HOPE is wholly consistent with its steadfast commitment to helping veterans through its “Veterans Welcome Home” initiative, which promotes the hiring of veterans at its Walmart and Sam’s Club stores. The company also supports community-based organizations that assist veterans and their families.
“We owe our veterans a huge debt of gratitude for their service and personal sacrifice,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “Unfortunately, many veterans end up in the unfortunate position of facing economic uncertainty and other difficulties. Fortunately, with the great support we get from Walmart, we’re able to give our veterans hope and dignity in the form of care packages and benefit-referral resources. We salute Walmart, and we’re happy to partner with it in addressing the needs of those who proudly served, but now need help.”
About Hunger and Food Insecurity on Long Island
Food insecurity is a state in which people do not get enough food on a consistent basis to provide the nutrients for active and healthy lives. It can result from the recurrent lack of access to food. More than 316,000 Long Islanders face the risk of hunger every day, according to Island Harvest Food Bank and Feeding America®, a national hunger-relief organization. Those facing hunger include adults (often working two jobs), children, senior citizens, and veterans. Unable to make ends meet, they (and their children) are often forced to go without food. Approximately 70,000 individuals seek food assistance in Nassau and Suffolk counties each week through soup kitchens, food pantries and other feeding programs served by Island Harvest Food Bank.
About Island Harvest Food Bank
Island Harvest Food Bank is a leading hunger-relief organization that provides food and other resources to people in need. Always treating those it helps with dignity and respect, its goal is to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island through efficient food collection and distribution; enhanced hunger-awareness and nutrition-education programs; job training; and direct services targeted at children, senior citizens, veterans, and others at risk of food insecurity. As a result of Island Harvest Food Bank’s dynamic business model, more than 94 percent of expended resources go directly to programs and services that support over 316,000 Long Islanders facing hunger. Island Harvest Food Bank is a lead agency in the region’s emergency response preparedness for food and product distribution, and is a member of Feeding America®, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. Island Harvest is a four-star-rated nonprofit by Charity Navigator, an independent charity watchdog organization. More information can be found at www.islandharvest.org.
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Contact: Don Miller
West End Strategies, Ltd.