With the timing of Hurricane Sandy just before Thanksgiving many more Long Island families are finding themselves in need of food for the holiday this year.
Thursday at the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Happauge, members of the Marine Corps helped unload a portion of the 2,400 turkeys donated by Stop & Shop to Long Island Cares and Island Harvest. This year the donation was increased by 500 turkeys due to the increased need after Hurricane Sandy. The turkeys will be made available to needy families through the combined nearly 1,000 agencies serviced by the food banks.
“We’ve been providing turkeys to the food bank for about 15 years,” said Arlene Putterman, manager of public and community relations for Stop & Shop. “We’ve been partnering with the Marines for the past two years and you can tell they really enjoy giving back and helping out.”
Not only do the Marines help with the turkey drive, but Stop & Shop also lends a hand to a charity that the Marines help annually.
“[Stop and Shop] helps us out with Toys for Tots by providing gift cards for food,” said Staff Sgt. Thorin Duehr.
According to Robin Amato, director of development at Long Island Cares, after Hurricane Sandy the food bank opened seven days a week to accommodate the added need for care. She said despite the obvious need for food there is also a tremendous need for non-food items.
“The need isn’t necessarily food–the need is for [things like] cleaning supplies, bleach, warm socks and blankets,” said Amato. “As people recover and they get their power back I think food is important, but there is a lot of other needs going on and because of Sandy it has definitely expanded.”
Both Island Harvest and Long Island Cares will be accepting donations for Thanksgiving and Sandy relief. Those that wish to help can visit LICares.org on IslandHarvest.org to find out more about donating food and volunteering.