Long Island Cares, Inc. - The Harry Chapin Food Bank and Catholic Charities have announced a new collaborative partnership to make fresh produce readily available to senior citizens in need. The new Fresh Pickins’ program provides periodic deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables to Catholic Charities locations in Wyandanch and Freeport on an ‘as-available basis. The program was coordinated through an agreement with the New York State Department of Health.
In announcing the new partnership, Lewis H. Clarke, III, Associate Director, Bureau of Nutrition Risk Reduction of the NYS Health Department said, ” Healthy eating is essential to living a healthy life. The State Health Department is pleased to offer a program to help low-income seniors obtain fresh produce through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. In conjunction with Long Island Cares, Inc.-The Harry Chapin Food Bank and Catholic Charities, Diocese of Rockville Centre, more than 4,000 clients will receive a food package containing fresh produce each month, helping to ensure they can enjoy nutritious meals.”
Under the joint program, Long Island Cares will procure fresh produce through local store and farmer donations, which will be delivered in requested quanties to senior programs operated by Catholic Charities. Although a large portion of the produce will come from donations, Long Island Cares recently received grants from AARP and through new funding provided by Governor Cuomo that will support the purchase of fresh produce for the Fresh Pickins’ program. In addition, Long Island Cares will work closely with their colleagues in the Food Bank Association of New York State to secure additional donations and grants to support the program.
According to Paule Pachter, Executive Director of Long Island Cares, Inc., “We’re looking forward to working with our colleagues at Catholic Charities to make high quality fresh prodice available on a regular basis to the many seniors in need who are living on fixed of low incomes wthin the community. As the regional food bank for Long Island, we are gratified by the confidence that the New York State Health Department has expressed in our ability to develop this successful partnership with Catholic Charities. We’re also very grateful to Governor Cuomo for his support of New York’s regional food banks.
“Our seniors are enthusiatic about this additional supplement to their food package and have said This is great, I’m so glad we get some fresh things now and Are we getting this again next month?,” explained Martha Gravino of Catholic Charities.
For more information about the new Fresh Pickins’ program please call (631) 582-FOOD.