Hauppauge, NY - June 29, 2016 - Child food insecurity remains a national problem, with almost 16 million children in the United States at risk of hunger, states Feeding America, a leading nationwide anti-hunger organization. According to Island Harvest Food Bank, there are more than 118,000 Long Island schoolchildren who rely on free breakfast and lunch programs during the school year, but lack access to sufficient, nutritious food during the summer, when school is out. Island Harvest Food Bank’s Summer Food Service Program, administered by the Food and Nutrition Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides an essential source of nourishment when school lets out for the summer recess.
“Hunger is a year-round issue nationally and on Long Island, and, while food may be plentiful for most of us during the summer, that’s not the case for many Long Islanders, especially children, who face a continued daily struggle to get enough food to maintain a healthy life,” explains Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank. “For children who depend on school programs to feed them during the school year, the Summer Food Service Program enables us to provide them with breakfasts, lunches and snacks during the summer months.”
This summer, Island Harvest Food Bank’s Summer Food Service Program expects to serve approximately 150,000 meals to 4,500 children at 65 sites throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. Island Harvest Food Bank will deliver a mix of breakfasts, lunches and snacks, Monday through Friday, to programs operated by government agencies, summer camps, day camps, churches and community organizations. Last year, Island Harvest Food Bank served approximately 113,000 meals to more than 3,000 children at 59 Long Island sites through the Summer Food Service Program, which runs from June 27 through September 2.
Meals will be provided at the sites, without charge, to all children 18 years and younger. 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 a complete list of Summer Food Service Program sites on Long Island, visit islandharvest.org. For more information, please call Anthony Brites at Island Harvest Food Bank at 631-873-4775, or email him.
Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA-related activity should immediately write 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). The USDA is an equal-opportunity provider and employer.
About Hunger on Long Island
Hunger is a state in which people do not get enough food 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), seniors 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. Approximately 96 cents of every dollar donated to Island Harvest Food Bank goes to programs that support more than 316,000 Long Islanders. 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. More information can be found at www.islandharvest.org.