New York Jets legend Wayne Chrebet will help connect donations Friday at the 11th Annual Bethpage Turkey Drive to benefit the nonprofit Island Harvest Food Bank

Long Islanders are asked to drop off frozen turkeys, non-perishable food items not in glass containers, supermarket gift cards, or cash donations. These donations will go directly to Island Harvest Food Bank, which will then help supply Thanksgiving meals to the more than 300,000 food-insecure Long Islanders through its distribution network of over 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other feeding programs on Long Island.

“The Bethpage Turkey Drive is a fun and rewarding event,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president of Bethpage Federal Credit Union. “With our dancing turkey, a live DJ, Girl Scout badges, friendly volunteers, and a drive-through donation lane, supporters can’t help but leave with a smile on their face and warmth in their heart knowing they’ve made a difference in the lives of others.”

Since the first Bethpage Turkey Drive was organized in 2009, hundreds of community volunteers have come out to assist in the collection of more than 31,000 turkeys and over 116,000 pounds of food, which were then given to Long Island families facing hardship in time for the holidays. Island Harvest Food Bank has seen an increase in the requests for food and support services among the 400 community-based agencies it serves. About 70,000 individuals receive food assistance from the Island Harvest Food Bank network each week.

“Bethpage Federal Credit Union has established itself as a valued partner in our mission to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “In addition to the Annual Turkey Drive, Bethpage supports several anti-hunger initiatives including our Kids Weekend Backpack Program, and their employees routinely assist us throughout the year by volunteering at community food drives, and through personal donations of food or funds. Their collective efforts are truly making a difference in the lives of our Long Island neighbors struggling with hunger and food insecurity.”

Those dropping off food can use the drive-through donation lane for convenience, and Bethpage volunteers will carry your bags/boxes, so there is no need to even get out of your car. The event will be held 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. Donations can be dropped off at Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s headquarters located at 899 South Oyster Bay Road in Bethpage.

For those unable to travel to Bethpage’s main branch, Nassau and Suffolk county residents can visit any of Bethpage’s 34 branch locations to drop off any monetary donations you may have. For a complete list of Bethpage branches, go to www.lovebethpage.com.

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