Increased Demand Drives Expansion of Island Harvest Food Bank “Summer Food Service Program,” Which Helps Low-Income Children When School’s Out

— Regional food bank expects to serve approximately 175,000 meals to be served to 5,500 children in Nassau and Suffolk counties this summer —

Center of Hope SFSP 2015 2 

HAUPPAUGE, NY — June 12, 2017 — More than 118,000 schoolchildren on Long Island 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), is expected to provide 175,000 meals to approximately 5,500 children at more than 70 sites across Long Island this summer. In 2016, the summer feeding program served 153,464 meals to 5,000 low-income children at 66 sites in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

“Childhood food insecurity is a national health crisis, with close to 16 million children in the United States at risk of hunger,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “For children who depend on school breakfast and lunch programs during the school year, the Summer Food Service Program helps us provide critical food support to help them through the summer months.”

Now in its 8th year, Island Harvest Food Bank, through the Summer Food Service Program, will again deliver a mix of breakfasts, lunches and snacks, Monday through Saturday, to programs operated by government agencies, summer camps, community centers, libraries, health centers, churches and community organizations on Long Island.

The Summer Food Service Program runs from June 25 through September 2, and provides meals, at no charge, to children 18 years old and younger. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program are the same for all, regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age or disability, and there is 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 Maria Quiroga, at Island Harvest Food Bank, at 631-873-4775, or email maria@islandharvest.org.

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.

“Hunger is a year-round issue, 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,” added Shubin Dresner. “The Summer Food Service Program, and others like it, represents a significant lifeline in providing children with essential nutrition to foster good health, growth and development.”

 

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 of food insecurity. As a result of Island Harvest Food Bank’s dynamic business model, more than 94 percent of expended resources go directly to programs and services that support over 316,000 Long Islanders facing hunger. 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. Island Harvest is a four-star-rated nonprofit by Charity Navigator, an independent charity watchdog organization. More information can be found at www.islandharvest.org.

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Contact: Don Miller

West End Strategies, Ltd.

516-330-1647

don@westendstrategiespr.com

 

Photo courtesy of Island Harvest Food Bank

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