The Health and Welfare Council of Long Island has partnered with international, national and local non-profit organizations to address the growing crisis of hunger on Long Island by bringing fresh, hot meals to families in Huntington Station and Roosevelt.
update: Pastor Danny Rivera said the Huntington Assembly of God has distributed nearly 16,000 meals since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic. This week, volunteers handed out more than 500 meals on two separate days through the partnership.
The agency helped to secure a donation of $100,000 from the Hispanic Federation, a national non-profit, and $100,000 match donated from World Central Kitchen, an international non-profit addressing hunger by working with local restaurants and helping provide jobs for staff and while preparing meals for those in need.
Local restaurants working with the project are El Sueño Mexican Grill and Danny’s Deli in Huntington Station and Sangria 71 in Commack. The Imperial Diner in Freeport is also part of the program.
Through World Central Kitchen’s Restaurants for the People Program, the restaurants are providing thousands of Long Islanders with individually packaged, fresh meals this summer, specifically families and seniors in need.
Family Service League in Huntington Station and Choice for All in Roosevelt, two local community non-profits in HWCLI’s network, are assisting with the food delivery and distribution, as are Helping Hand Rescue Mission and the Huntington Assembly of God Church.
“As COVID-19 ravaged our communities and the economic fall-out implodes, we’ve been seeing more and more Long Islanders not be able to provide enough food to their families. There is a need like we have never seen before that requires new and creative solutions,” says Rebecca Sanin, president/CEO. “This generous support and innovative partnership with the Hispanic Federation and World Central Kitchen brings new resources and an internationally proven program model to work with local partners in the community.”
“The needs our families and communities are facing in Long Island are great and growing, and the scope of this crisis requires innovative partnerships that leverage the resources and collective strength of local and national institutions,” said Frankie Miranda, president of the Hispanic Federation. “We could not be prouder and more grateful to join this effort to address food insecurity in Nassau and Suffolk County with the Health Welfare Council of Long Island and World Central Kitchen.”
Traditional safety nets like school feeding programs and food banks are struggling to meet basic needs, the council said. Seniors, who are isolated for their safety, are unable to access meal services. The World Central Kitchen internationally recognized model is now also on Long Island activating local restaurants to help meet this demand by providing jobs for their staff and meals for those in need.
“We are so thankful to World Central Kitchen and Hispanic Federation for recognizing the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on our suburban region and bringing a model and resources that are often used in cities but not thought of for suburban regions like Long Island,” Sanin said. “With suburban poverty increasing on Long Island, we plan to expand this partnership and bring in other non-traditional programs and partners. We’ve learned that we have to think out of the box when it comes to COVID-19 and Long Island’s existing and growing poverty.”
World Central Kitchen is the brainchild of celebrity chef José Andrés, who has prepared foods for people in areas around the world after such natural disasters as hurricanes and earthquakes.