Across Long Island, communities have banded together over the past week to donate turkeys to families in need this Thanksgiving holiday.
Many nonprofit organizations have reported an increase in families facing food insecurity on Long Island due to the Covid-19 pandemic and inflation driving up grocery prices. So this year, nonprofit leaders, business owners, and community members came out in full force to help their neighbors.
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, which treats underserved patients from Queens and southwestern Nassau County, donated baskets of food items to more than 80 patients and their families for the holiday. The baskets included turkeys, chicken, ham, stuffing, vegetables, gravy, stuffing, and more.
“It brings us great joy to know that we were able to help make this year’s Thanksgiving both enjoyable and nourishing for more than 80 families,” said Sharika Gordon, vice president and chief human resources officer. “We care deeply about our patients and community members, and the hospital’s staff wanted to do all that they could to make sure that no person is left hungry this Thanksgiving.”
Students at Molloy College in Rockville Centre delivered 1,000 pounds of food items to the Mary Brennan INN food pantry and soup kitchen in Hempstead.
“Nutritional access on Long Island is a big problem right now,” said Mike Malinowski, of Molloy College’s Office of Campus Ministry, which organized the donation drive and delivery. “There are people who don’t have access to the amount of food that they need. Especially since Covid this has become an increasing problem. We think it’s more important than ever to collect things and provide for places like The Mary Brennan Inn who help people who need it.”
“I think it’s important to give back,” said Elizabeth Hertler, a junior at Molloy College who helped organize the food drive. “To recognize how much we have and to give to those who may not have as much and who are in need. And remember that we should do it all the time, not just at this time of the year.”
James D’Addario and members of the D’Addario family distributed 100 turkeys to families and veterans at Long Island Cares Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center in Huntington Station on Nov. 21
In Central Islip, King Quality, a roofing company, donated and handed out 150 turkeys, side dishes, baked goods, and beverages to those in need alongside Lighthouse Mission, a nonprofit mobile food pantry.
Bethpage Federal Credit Union held its 13th annual turkey drive on Nov. 19. Long Island families drove by the credit union’s headquarters building in Bethpage to drop off food and monetary donations, which Bethpage Federal Credit Union donated to Island Harvest.
“Thanks to Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s annual turkey drive and the generosity of countless Long Islanders, we’re able to provide a traditional holiday-style meal, complete with a turkey and all the trimmings, to thousands of local families who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank. “Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s support extends beyond the holidays. They are a longtime and year-round partner in our mission to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island, and we are grateful for their caring and support.”