L. to R.: Former New York Jets wide receiver Wayne Chrebet and Island Harvest volunteers at the 2019 Bethpage Turkey Drive for Island Harvest Food Bank.

As food insecurity soars during the pandemic, more Long Islanders are in need than ever before. This year’s drive-through Bethpage Turkey Drive will seek to provide bountiful Thanksgiving meals for families who are struggling.

“Our message this year is to support your neighbors,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president of Bethpage Federal Credit Union, which runs the turkey and food drive each year. “Countless families continue to have financial struggles. Let’s help them enjoy a holiday meal.”

Organizers are asking for donations of turkeys, non-perishable food items or cash. 

Non-perishable food items needed include canned goods, cereal, pasta, rice, boxed juices, and shelf-stable milk. Do not bring glass containers. Smaller-size turkeys are particularly needed to accommodate this year’s small family gatherings.

All cash donations will benefit Island Harvest Food Bank, which will help supply meals to more than 300,000 food-insecure Long Islanders at its 400 pantries, soup kitchens, and other food programs.

“The economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a greater need among Long Islanders seeking food assistance, many for the first time,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank. “We look forward to another successful Bethpage Turkey Drive to help food-insecure families enjoy a more hopeful holiday season.”

Those making donations will not be allowed to leave their cars. Instead, volunteers will remove donations directly from inside the cars.

The 12th annual Bethpage Turkey Drive will take place on Friday, Nov. 20, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s headquarters located at 899 South Oyster Bay Rd. in Bethpage.

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