Island Harvest providing free nutritious lunches and snack for children who rely on free or reduced meal programs when school is in session
(Long Island, NY) For most children summertime is meant for fun in the sun, trips to the beach and summer camp. For approximately 88,000 Long Island children who rely on free or reduced school breakfast and lunch programs during the school year, summer can spell crisis. Thanks to the Summer Food Service Program children 18 years old and younger can access free supplemental meals and snacks provided by Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization.
“Hunger has become a year-round issue on Long Island and even though food may be plentiful for most of us during the summer, for many Long Islanders, including children, finding enough nutritious food is a daily struggle,” Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. “Fortunately, through the Summer Food Service Program, children facing hunger can now have nutritious meals or snacks available at several locations in Nassau and Suffolk counties.”
The Island Harvest Summer Food Service Program, which begins July 2, is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the New York State Department of Education. At the local level, the program is managed by USDA-approved sponsors, including school districts, local government agencies, camps, and nonprofit organizations, like Island Harvest. According to Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic anti-hunger organization, 89% of schoolchildren receiving subsidized meals when school is in session, often go hungry during the summer because they do not participate in the program. Island Harvest expects to serve over 20,000 lunches this summer.
“Now that school has ended for the summer, many children will lose their one chance to have a balanced meal during the day,” added Ms. Dresner. “Proper nutrition is essential to the growth and development of children and many of them, especially those in low-income spectrum, don’t always have access to good, wholesome food. The Summer Food Service Program helps bridge that gap.”
Island Harvest sponsored SFSP Sites on Long Island include:
- Woodward Children’s Center, 201 W. Merrick Road, Freeport
- Freeport High School, 50 S. Brookside Avenue, Freeport
- Robert M. Finley Middle School, Forest Avenue, Glen Cove
- Campbell Park (Fridays only), 80 Evans Avenue, Hempstead
- We Care for Children (August 20-24 only), 100 Terrace Avenue, Hempstead
- Outreach Church of God in Christ, 226 Lawrence Avenue, Lawrence
- Port Washington CAC, S. Salem Elem. 10 Newbury Road, Port Washington
- Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, 243 Frederick Avenue, Roosevelt
- Hector Gayle Roslyn Comm. Center, 53 Orchard Street, Roslyn Heights
- Martin “Bunky” Reid Park, Broadway at Urban Avenue, Westbury
- Westbury Recreation Center, 348 Post Avenue, Westbury
- St. John’s Baptist Church (July 2-6 only), 1025 Prospect Avenue, Westbury
- Penates, 1360 Fifth Avenue, Bay Shore
- Brentwood Recreation Center, (August 20-24 only), 99 3rd Avenue, Brentwood
- Bridgehampton Child Care, 551 Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton
- YES Central Islip Recreation Center, 555 Clayton Street, Central Islip
- Francis J. O’Neill School, 545 Clayton Street, Central Islip
- Faith Baptist Church, 10 Teller Avenue, Coram
- David W. Crohan Comm. Center, 655 Flanders Road, Flanders
- Huntington Sta. Enrichment Center, 1264 New York Avenue, Huntington Station
- Harrison Hale Community Action Center, 576 Granny Road, Medford
- Patchogue-Medford Youth & Comm. Services, 390 Bay Avenue, Patchogue
- United Methodist Church of Patchogue, 10 Church Street, Patchogue
- Pulaski Street Elementary School, 300 Pulaski Street, Riverhead
- Riverhead Free Library, 330 Court Street, Riverhead
- Shinnecock Education Family Preservation Ctr., 100 Church Street, Southampton
Lunch meals will be provided to all children 18 years and under without charge at these sites. Acceptance and participation requirements for the program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service. For a complete list of Summer Food Service Program Sites on Long Island visit islandharvest.org. For more information, please call Bob King at Island Harvest 516-294-8528 extension 126.
Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any USDA-related activity should write or call immediately to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call 800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
About Hunger on Long Island
Hunger is a state in which people do not get enough food to provide the nutrients for active and healthy lives. It can result from the recurrent and involuntary lack of access to food. Nearly 300,000 Long Islanders — including over 110,000 children — face the risk of hunger everyday according to Island Harvest and Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization. Approximately 70,000 individuals seek food assistance in Nassau and Suffolk Counties each week through soup kitchens, food pantries and other feeding programs.
About Island Harvest
Now in its 20th year, Island Harvest serves as the bridge between those with surplus food and those who need it, supplying nearly 570 community-based nonprofit organizations on Long Island with critical food support to help stem the advancing tide of hunger in our communities. For more information about Island Harvest, visit www.islandharvest.org.