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Becoming a Member Agency

We are currently accepting applications for new member agencies.

Please complete the application and submit it to Allison Puglia, Vice President of Programs and Agency Relations, at We look forward to partnering with up to 50 new food programs this year!

Download the application

For more information about applying, click here.

Membership Guidelines

Island Harvest provides food, products, and services to a variety of non-profit community based agencies on Long Island. In order to qualify for membership, all agencies must meet the following minimum requirements:

· Registered as or sponsored by a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to provide services to the ill, needy, or children.

· Located on Long Island and servicing Nassau and Suffolk Counties

· Have at least one person trained in food safety through a Nassau or Suffolk County Food Handler’s Certificate or take a class with Island Harvest

· Proper storage area for food

· Able to keep delivery receipts on site

· Must have record of Pest Control and maintain at least a monthly procedure

· Must be Operational for at LEAST 3 months prior to joining Island Harvest

· Must have additional source of food besides Island Harvest (our food is intended to supplement your current food sources)

· Must be open at least twice per month and serve at least 25 people

Additionally, different types of agencies are required to meet certain membership criteria as follows:

Soup Kitchens

In order to ensure that food is prepared & served safely, all soup kitchens are required to have at least one person trained in food safety & sanitation with the County Department of Health

Emergency Shelters

For state grant purposes, Emergency Shelters are defined as providing temporary housing for individuals in crisis.  If meals are prepared for clients/residents they are required to have at least one person trained in food safety and sanitation through the County Department of Health.

Residential Programs

In order to qualify for membership, residential programs (including group homes, drug & alcohol rehabilitation, & transitional housing programs) must ensure that residents are not charged separately for food prepared & eaten in a group setting.  If meals are prepared for clients/residents they are required to have at least one person trained in food safety and sanitation through the County Department of Health.

Senior Nutrition Programs

Both congregate and home delivered meal programs are eligible for Food Bank membership if meal fees are not required in order to receive food.  If meals are prepared for clients/residents they are required to have at least one person trained in food safety and sanitation through the County Department of Health.

Child Day Care Programs

Home-based private day care providers are not eligible for Food Bank membership.

Emergency Food Pantries

In order to be considered for membership, food pantries must meet several criteria.

Accessibility: Food pantries must have at least two standard distribution days per month. No “on-call” only or “emergency” only pantries will be accepted as members. Pantries located in churches or other places of worship must be open to the general public and cannot be limited to church members. Also, church pantries must ensure that clients will not be expected to attend service or join the church in order to receive food.

Donations: Pantries may accept voluntary donations from clients but may not actively encourage or ask for donations. In fact, any donation jar or box should be located away from the pantry intake area to avoid the appearance of active solicitation.

Distribution: We encourage pantries to be “Client Choice” meaning that clients are given the opportunity to choose the items they need instead of receiving a pre-packed bag of items chosen by pantry volunteers. (Island Harvest has printed material available for pantries interested in switching to this method of distribution.)

Other Programs

At times, we encounter programs that do not fall into any of the categories listed above. Non-traditional applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Agency Relations staff to determine membership eligibility. If staff has difficulty determining eligibility, the application will be presented to the Senior Management team for review and a final determination.

Benefits of Island Harvest Membership

1. Food bank member agencies have access to high quality food & non-food products through the following programs:

· Nationally and locally donated products

· Surplus commodities

· Nutritious food items through our wholesale programs

· Hard to find non-food items such as diapers & laundry detergent

2. Free food for member agencies with no costs associated with transportation and the distribution of donated product also known as a Shared Maintenance Fee (SMF);

3. Technical support and training opportunities on topics such as nutrition, food safety, benefit programs, effective distribution methods, grant writing & fund raising, and hunger awareness and advocacy;

4. Opportunity to host a farmers market in season or a cooking & nutrition education workshop for low-income individuals designed to provide both long and short-term solutions to hunger and food insecurity;

5. Networking opportunities with other community service providers in your county and throughout the food bank’s service area;

Food bank member agencies have access to hundreds of food and non-food items through our distributions. Please note that all Island Harvest member agency representatives must present their distribution pass in order to receive food.

Donated Food

As a member of Feeding America, Island Harvest receives both local and national donations of food and non-food items. A majority of the food we receive is not sold on the market due to overproduction, cosmetic damage, or nearing code date but is still deemed safe to eat. We also receive a great deal of non-perishable items from local food drives and fresh produce from neighboring farmers.

** Since the Food Bank is able to receive frozen and refrigerated as well as shelf stable products, we strongly recommend that member agencies have access to a commercial sized refrigerator or freezer.

Centralized Food Distributions (CFDs)

All member agencies are eligible to participate in a Centralized Food Distribution (CFD.) CFDs allow agencies to pick up large amounts of perishable and non-perishable foods from a central distribution location weekly.

Member Agency Roles & Responsibilities

All food bank member agencies are expected to follow regulations established by Feeding America related to the proper handling, storage and distribution of donated product. Additionally, the food bank has developed its own specific policies to ensure member agency accountability.

Basic Agreement

The basic agreement is included with all membership applications & renewals and contains 12 main points of compliance. (See Appendix) Since the agreement is between the food bank and the 501(c)(3) organization, the Executive Director, Pastor, Chairperson or person in leadership at each member agency is required to sign the document. By signing the agreement, the member agency confirms the following:

1. The agency is a 501(c)(3) organization;

2. Donated products will only be used for the care of the ill, needy or children;

3. Clients will not be charged for donated products;

4. Accurate records will be kept of all donated product received and distributed;

5. Policies regarding the receipt, storage, and distribution of donated product will be adhered to, including all food safety standards;

6. The agency agrees to allow food bank representatives to conduct on-site monitoring visits to assure compliance with Island Harvest and Feeding America’s regulations.

7. Member agencies must keep the food bank up to date with accurate contact information and submit monthly survey reports by the 10th of each month.

Download the application

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