Great Neck Teachers Association donates $15K to interfaith food pantry

The Great Neck Teachers Association donated $15,000 to the Saint Aloysius Interfaith Food Pantry last week. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

The Great Neck Teachers Association donated $15,000 to the Saint Aloysius Interfaith Food Pantry last week to aid local residents throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Jennifer Snyder, a fourth-grade teacher and the association’s vice president for professional rights and responsibilities, spoke on the need for donations that Saint Aloysius and other food pantries require in the midst of the pandemic.

“There are people throughout Great Neck, Long Island, and the world who are going through incredibly difficult times right now,” Snyder said. “As teachers, we work with families so closely.  Yes, we are a well-funded school system and a financially secure district, but people still need that help.”

Snyder said the teachers association started a social justice committee about two years ago, of which she is a chairperson.  Snyder said the committee, composed of six teachers, identifies social justice issues within the community and finds ways to aid in resolving them.

“Over the past few years we have developed relationships with and worked through some of the social workers in the area,” Snyder said. “Through them, we created a relationship with [Saint Aloysius] and we identified the interfaith food pantry as a place that needs our resources, even before the pandemic.”

A representative from Saint Aloysius declined to comment on the matter but did confirm the association’s $15,000 donation to the food pantry.

According to Snyder, the association took funds that were initially allocated to fund other endeavors the organization planned throughout the remainder of the school year but were unable to because of the pandemic.

Snyder said the association allowed the interfaith food pantry to decide how to allocate the funds depending on the needs of its community.

“We initially provided them with some of the essentials like rice and beans,” Snyder said. “But we felt that Bertha and everyone else at Saint Aloysius would know the best way to spend that money and could best determine how to allocate it.”

Snyder encouraged others to get involved with donations of non-perishables by going on Saint Aloysius’ website,  Saint Aloysius is located at 592 Middle Neck Road.  The food pantry serves the Nassau County community every other Saturday from 9 a.m.- 11 a.m., according to their information page.

“Saint Aloysius is highly respected throughout the community and serves people from many walks of life, so the teachers were happy to donate to them,” Snyder said. “There’s certainly more work to be done, but hopefully this allows for some initial progress to be made throughout the community.”

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Robert Pelaez

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