In the last seven months, more food has been delivered to Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Food Bank.
To assist the people of Long Island as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, local food banks purchased an average of £ 1.5 million of fresh and non-perishable food each month. From March to June, most food banks across the country, including Long Island Cares, had an eight to twelve week delay in receiving purchased food. The first three months of the COVID-19 response effort have created many new challenges. One of them was to receive food in the warehouse.
Another challenge was the community food drive. Many were canceled and those in progress were unsuccessful. It was at this time that I found a niche in migrating food drives to virtual platforms. The virtual platform has taken off and continues to grow and expand.
Over the same period, retail donation programs, which offer around £ 2 million of fresh food annually, have increased dramatically. We also benefited from increased corporate food donations. The US Department of Agriculture is increasing the amount of government goods and is actively buying food through contracts with the New York State Department of Health. In addition, he is a recipient of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Narish New York Initiative and the USDA Food Assistance Program.
You may be wondering if the current supply of emergency food available in LI is greater than the current demand. It may be, but not so, if we can get everyone unemployed back to work and earn a stable income. The emergency food supply must remain strong and abundant, as we honestly do not know when the COVID-19 pandemic will end. A recent prediction by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US government infectious disease expert, is that the virus could leave the United States by September 2021.
People need urgent food aid even if the island’s businesses cannot fully open. People still need to visit the pantry even if additional stimulus support ends. Children who depend on school feeding programs need urgent food assistance, even if the school has to be closed again due to a surge in coronavirus cases.
And if Congress doesn’t provide additional assistance to the states and counties most hit by COVID-19, such as New York and Long Island, food banks will be needed even more.
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