Supervisor Don Clavin, along with the entire Hempstead Town Board, announced the authorization of a $470,539.78 relief grant for Island Harvest Food Bank to establish the “2021 No One Goes Hungry in Hempstead” food distribution program for Town of Hempstead residents, including, senior citizens, veterans and other vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This program will run from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. The grant has been made possible through the federal CARES Act, which provided the Town of Hempstead with funding last year to provide economic aid to local organizations, nonprofits and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, the Town received the second part of the funding and is working diligently to help people and organizations affected by the pandemic.
The grant was also announced by Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella, Councilman Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll, along with Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest.
“Thank you to Senator Schumer for securing the extension of last year’s CARES Act funding that made multiple initiatives like this one possible,” Clavin said. “Working with a bipartisan Town Board, we worked to ensure that funds were used to directly assist residents who were reeling from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. After providing over a million meals to residents in need, I am proud to announce another key partnership with Island Harvest, to help address food insecurity here in America’s largest township.”
The “No One Goes Hungry in Hempstead” will target seniors, veterans and families, among other vulnerable populations, to tackle food insecurity through healthy food boxes. This program will run through December 31, 2021. Through COVID-19 relief funds secured through the CARES act, the Town of Hempstead has distributed over a million meals to residents in need throughout the pandemic, and this program expands this effort into the holiday season.
With this grant, Island Harvest Food Bank compromises to distribute healthy shelf-stable food boxes to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity within the Town of Hempstead. This program includes the obtaining and distribution of food boxes for senior citizens, as well as healthy food for families and others facing insecurity during the holiday season. Island Harvest will be partnering with school districts such as Roosevelt, Hempstead, Freeport, Baldwin, Levittown, Lawrence and Elmont to reach more families.
“The pandemic impacted jobs, housing and, as a domino effect, food. As a result, we actually gave out five million pounds more than the previous year. We work with 500 Long Island-based food pantries, soup kitchens and other non-profit organizations to reach more people in need.” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “Today, we are happy to partner with the Town of Hempstead because we share the goal to prevent residents from going hungry. With this support, we will work to deliver healthy food to as many seniors, kids, and families, not to mention the relief of the worry about finding food for one day.”
Through federal CARES act funds, the Town of Hempstead has provided over a million meals; thousands of free COVID-19 tests in collaboration with Northwell for the general public, essential workers and first responders and over 7,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered thanks to the Town of Hempstead’s “Vaxmobile” in partnership with Mount Sinai South Nassau; thousands of PPE kits to small businesses and financial aid to front line entities and community centers such as villages, hospitals, fire departments, schools, colleges and universities and libraries. In addition, the Town of Hempstead recently extended a program with United Way of Long Island to provide free air filters to at-risk senior citizens.
“We want to do our part to make sure that no family goes hungry in the Town of Hempstead this holiday season,” Clavin said. “Thank you to Randi Shubin Dresner and her team at Island Harvest and to my Town Board colleagues for making this important program possible as we continue to provide assistance to residents in need.”
Visit hempsteadny.gov for more details on the program as they become available.