Long Island Food Pantries Face Challenging Times


The directors of several food pantries in Suffolk County stated that the number of food insecure clients depending on their services has doubled over the past year, due to the pandemic

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“People are struggling because of unemployment, because of underemployment, because of the effects of COVID on the economy, “ said Marc Soto Executive Director of Pronto, a non-profit organization located in Brentwood. “As of March, we have cut down on our intake services, and focused strictly on food distribution. We have fed close to anywhere between 9-14,000 clients on a monthly basis.”

Maidaya Maldonado, Operation Director for Adelante in Brentwood, said the non-profit community center’s food pantry usually serves about 200 food insecure people a month, but over the past seven months that number has doubled. Maldonado added that there is a fear in the mostly Hispanic community to receive government assistance, so people rely more heavily on the food pantry.

“It’s not easy trying to find food or trying to find funds to cover all the needs that we have in our community,” she said. “We are looking for some partnerships or grants that can help our organization to try and meet our needs.”

New York City philanthropist and patron of the Heart of the Hamptons Food Pantry Jean Shafiroff agreed that Feeding America, a nonprofit organization that is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, estimated that in 2020, 50 million individuals in the United States would be food insecure and 17 millions of those are children.

“We’re looking for grant opportunities, donations, partnerships and all the things necessary to continue to meet the demand that we are experiencing.,” said Soto. “This is a very challenging time.”

For information about volunteering, or how to make a donation, contact:

Adelante of Suffolk County
631-434-3481 or visit http://www.adelantesc.org.

Pronto of Long Island
631-231-8290 or visit https://www.prontolongisland.org.