— Pantry stocked by Stop & Shop, with an emphasis on healthy food choices, including whole-grain, low-fat, reduced-sodium and reduced-sugar products —
BETHPAGE, NY — December 4, 2017 — Island Harvest Food Bank, a leading Long Island hunger-relief organization, and Stop & Shop today opened a new food pantry, to provide supplemental food support for clients of the Bethpage, NY-based The Safe Center LI, Inc., a nonprofit agency that assists the victims of family and interpersonal violence. Under the guidance of Island Harvest Food Bank’s in-house staff of dieticians, the new Healthy Harvest Pantry will be stocked primarily with healthy nonperishable food items, including those reduced in fat, sodium and sugar, and that contain whole grains. Stop & Shop is providing 6,000 pounds of products, which also includes personal care items and household supplies, to start the initiative, which is located in Island Harvest Food Bank’s Bethpage, NY, facility, at 15 Grumman Road, West.
“The Healthy Harvest Pantry is designed to promote healthy eating choices,” explained Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “Our team of dieticians has carefully selected items that provide healthy options for people on a limited budget, or who are battling chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.”
Persistent food insecurity, coupled with the lack of access to healthy, nutritious food, is a leading cause of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and other chronic health problems among individuals accessing food pantries and other supplemental food support programs. The American Heart Association, the National Institutes of Health, and Feeding America, a leading, national anti-hunger organization, have found a definitive link between health and hunger. Feeding America’s Hunger in America 2014 study found that 21 percent of Long Island households served by local food banks reported at least one member with diabetes, and 50 percent reported having a member with high blood pressure. Two-thirds of food-insecure families have reported choosing between paying for food and paying for medicine or healthcare.
“Stop & Shop is proud of our long standing support of hunger relief efforts on Long Island with Island Harvest Food Bank,” said Steve Kienzle, SVP/Lead, Stop & Shop. “The new Healthy Harvest Pantry is special in that it will promote healthy eating and education to its initial clients from The Safe Center.”
“The Safe Center is pleased to be a part of this collaborative effort with Island Harvest and is grateful for their efforts in establishing the pantry which will enhance the lives of the families we serve by providing them easy access to healthy meals. We are also grateful for the support Stop & Shop is providing to this program,” said Cynthia G. Scott, executive director, The Safe Center LI.
“Stop & Shop’s generous support of the Healthy Harvest Pantry is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to fighting hunger and promoting healthy eating in the communities it serves,” said Ms. Shubin Dresner. “We’re grateful to have Stop & Shop on our side in addressing these two highly important issues on Long Island.”
In addition to providing food support, the Healthy Harvest Pantry will offer a range of services through Island Harvest Food Bank that includes food and nutrition support, assistance with applying for benefits such as SNAP (formerly food stamps), referral services to community-based programs, and limited case management.
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.
Cynthia G. Scott, executive director, The Safe Center LI (left) and Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank cut the ribbon to officially open the Healthy Harvest Pantry in Bethpage as members of the board of directors from both organizations look on. Photo credit: Cynthia Reitman.