Town Supervisor Donald Clavin and the board announced on Tuesday that the Town of Hempstead had received $133 million from the federal stimulus package intended to aid those affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Clavin introduced the newly formed Town of Hempstead Economic Recovery Committee in an email on Tuesday. The committee “will provide much-needed financial assistance for the health, safety and economic recovery for [the] Town’s residents,” he said.
The committee includes Joe Belluck, founding partner of Belluck & Fox, LLP.; John Durso, president of the Long Island Federation of Labor; Charles Fuschillo Jr., president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America; Margarita Grasing, executive director of the Hispanic Brotherhood; Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association; Mitchell Pally, chief executive officer of the Long Island Builders Institute; Geoffrey Prime, mayor of the Village of South Floral Park; Stuart Rabinowitz, president of Hofstra University; and Cherice Vanderhall, Hempstead Village attorney.
“We are grateful for this significant level of funding that will be directly routed to our residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Clavin. “On behalf of our Town residents, we are very grateful for the leadership of Senator Schumer and our congressional delegation on the development of this crucial legislation. We are very fortunate to have Governor Cuomo’s historic leadership at this very desperate time in our state’s history. Our town government looks forward to working with the county and state governments to ensure these funds are used appropriately and efficiently to produce the greatest possible outcome for our communities.”
“I am honored to serve on this committee as much of my career has been dedicated to implementing and offering services and resources to members of the Hempstead community and beyond,” said Grasing. “This collaborative effort will make certain that the division of funds spreads across all of Hempstead so none of our communities struggling from the economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are forgotten about.”
“The launch of the economic relief advisory committee is the first of many steps that will be taken over the next couple of months to regain economic stability for our town, its businesses and residents,” said Town of Hempstead Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby. “Quickly getting the economy back up and running is important, but the equitable distribution of these funds in addition to everyone’s safety is our foremost priority.”
Due to the population threshold of 500,000 to apply to the federal aid program, Hempstead was the only town in Nassau County to receive funding. The county received $103 million in federal aid.
The Economic Recovery Committee announced on Tuesday that $2 million of the funding will be given as a grant to temporary food banks to provide relief to food insecure families during the COVID-19 crisis. The town is partnering with Hauppauge-based food bank Long Island Cares in this effort.
“Nobody in our Town will go hungry because of the hardships they have experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Clavin said. “Between many of our residents losing their jobs and the grocery stores struggling to meet demand, this funding will keep our food banks stocked for the next couple of months so our residents can be reassured with quality meals.”
The food distribution centers, which will be staffed by volunteers as well as two Long Island Cares staff members, will be open two days a week for eight hours total. They are currently located in Baldwin, Elmont, Inwood and Roosevelt.
A 20-pound box of nonperishable food will be provided to each family in need. Each box will be enough to feed a family of six for up to a week, the emergency committee said in a statement.
The $2 million will also go toward allowing Long Island Cares’ satellite location, the Nassau Center for Collaborative Assistance, to meet the increased need for support within Hempstead, Uniondale, Merrick, Bellmore and Oceanside.
“The ongoing COVID-19 health emergency has triggered a financial crisis for a multitude of families in our area — a phenomenon which too often results in less money for groceries and thinly stocked home refrigerators,” said Councilman Thomas Muscarella. “Local food banks like Long Island Cares have been at the forefront of the battle to prevent hunger in our hometown, and I know these funds from the Town of Hempstead will be put to good use supporting that cause.”