Newsday's recent cover story, "Look Who Needs Help Now," may seem like an eye-opener, but sadly it is a situation with which we at Island Harvest are all too familiar.
With the cost of such essentials as home heating oil up 50%, gasoline up 21%, food staples up 18 - 22%, unrelenting taxes, and increasing mortgage payments - we find ourselves in a crisis that is compelling solidly middle class Long Islanders to turn to food pantries and other local charities for assistance with the basics.
We hear the stories every day - and have been hearing them for a while about the struggle working people must face to provide their families with nutritious meals to make it through a day. Demand for turkeys by our network of member soup kitchens, food pantries, and other agencies reached 22,000 last holiday season - a shocking 42% increase over the prior year.
As Long Island's largest hunger relief organization, we are supplementing over 5 million meals each year - yet it is still not enough to meet the growing demand of those struggling to make ends meet.
We continue to work hard to find creative ways to fill in the ever growing gap between the supply of donated food and demand for it - including securing commitments from new businesses and trucking in more food to Long Island from other parts of the country.
Your help is needed to address this not always visible, but serious and growing situation. You can help by making a contribution, volunteering, donating food, organizing a food drive, or getting your company or school involved with us. Our
offers many great suggestions on how you can get involved in the fight against hunger and food waste - and lend a hand to our neighbors in need.
Or if you want to talk to a person, you can call us at 516-294-8528.
Thank you for your concern and continued support as we work together in ending hunger and reducing food waste on Long Island.
Randi Shubin Dresner
President and CEO
199 Second Street
Mineola, N.Y. 11501 USA
Island Harvest is a non-profit organization the bridge between those who have surplus food and those who need it. Our staff and volunteers "rescue," or "collect," good surplus food from over 600 retailers and wholesalers. Then, they deliver it, free of charge, to our network of 440+ soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, Head Start programs, senior and community centers, and other places where those who need it can get it, all across Long Island, New York.
There are so many ways you can get involved with Island Harvest, from making a contribution or making a long-term investment by leaving Island Harvest in your will, becoming a volunteer, conducting a food drive or becoming a sponsor. For more information call 516-294-8528 or visit the website at