The Hempstead Town awarded Long Island food bank Island Harvest $2.1 million to create a new food delivery program for homebound seniors, veterans and quarantined families.
Town board members on Wednesday agreed to pay for the program using some of the $133 million in federal CARES Act funds the town received to cover pandemic-related costs. The town previously gave $2 million to Long Island Cares, the Island’s other major food bank.
The money will be used to purchase food and hire a staff of 22 workers to package and distribute the goods to needy families, official said, adding that the demand on food distribution centers has jumped by 47%.
“There are still many people out there who don’t have the ability to get to these food banks,” Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin said. “This program is going to reach those people, along with senior centers and get organizations food.”
Island Harvest will partner with 400 community groups each week to deliver food.
Island Harvest previously did home deliveries to veterans and seniors, but the new program will also serve residents who are home because of the pandemic and will not affect Island Harvest’s other food distribution.
“We recognized there are people across Long Island who need help and are homebound, choosing to stay home because they are in a vulnerable population and shouldn’t or couldn’t go to the supermarket,” Island Harvest president Randi Shubin Dresner said.
Other groups on Long Island are also tending to needy families. The Long Island Hispanic Bar Association and the Garden City-based law firm Papain Block McGrath Coffinas & Cannavo distributed 2,000 pounds of food Wednesday to several pantries in Nassau and Suffolk counties that serve a Latino majority.
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