ISLAND HARVEST FILLS CRITICAL VOID FOR HUNGRY CHILDREN

Federal program provides nutritious meals to children who normally rely on free school lunch programs during the school year

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MINEOLA, NY -- July 7, 2011 -- School is out, which for some children means trips to the beach, camp, and fun in the sun. But for approximately 153,000 children on Long Island who rely on school lunch programs, the summer brings crisis. Island Harvest, Long Island's largest hunger relief organization, will be providing supplemental meals through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to children who would ordinarily rely on free or reduced breakfast, lunch and snacks during the school year and may not have adequate meals when school is out of session.

The SFSP provides free supplemental meals or snacks to children 18 years old and younger and is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. At the local level, is run by approved sponsors, including school districts, local government agencies, camps, or private nonprofit organizations, like Island Harvest.

According to Feeding America, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief organization, 89% of children who receive subsidized school meals, often go hungry during the summer months because they do not participate in the Summer Food Service Program.

"Proper nutrition is essential to the growth and development of children, especially those in the low-income spectrum," said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. "Now that school has ended for the summer, many children will lose their one chance to have a nutritious meal. Fortunately, through the SFSP, they can now have access to nutritious meals or snacks at eligible site locations in Nassau and Suffolk counties."

Island Harvest sponsored SFSP Sites on Long Island include:
Clara H. Carlson School, 235 Belmont Boulevard, Elmont
Woodward Children's Center, 201 W. Merrick Road, Freeport
Robert M. Finley Middle School, Forest Avenue, Glen Cove
Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School, 70 Greenwich Street, Hempstead
South Salem Elementary School, 10 Newbury Road, Port Washington
First United Methodist Church of Roosevelt, 30 Union Place, Roosevelt
Westbury Recreation Center, 348 Post Avenue, Westbury
Westbury Middle School, 455 Rockland Street, Westbury
Penates, 1360 Fifth Avenue, Bay Shore
Central Islip Recreation Center, 555 Clayton Street, Central Islip
Francis J. O'Neill School, 545 Clayton Street, Central Islip
Faith Baptist Church, 10 Teller Avenue, Coram
Harrison Hale Community Action Center, 576 Granny Road, Medford
Riley Avenue School, 374 Riley Avenue, Riverhead
Family Preservation Center-Shinnecock Indian Education Family Preservation Center, 100 Church Street, South Hampton

Lunch meals will be provided to all children 18 years and under without charge at these sites. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. For more information, please call Bob King, Island Harvest, (516) 294-8528 ext. 126.

Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA-related activity should write or call immediately to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

About Island Harvest
Fighting hunger and touching lives, Island Harvest serves as the bridge between those who have surplus food and those who need it, supplying over 570 community-based nonprofit organizations on Long Island with critical food support to help stem the advancing tide of hunger in our communities. Island Harvest has delivered more than 71 million pounds of food, supplementing nearly 54 million meals, since its inception in 1992. In support of its mission to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island, the organization is actively involved in education, outreach, advocacy, job training and hunger awareness programs. Island Harvest is a member of Feeding America. For more information about Island Harvest, visit www.islandharvest.org.