The Town of Huntington is partnering with a local Haitian restaurateur to raise money to help children in Haiti affected by Hurricane Matthew and its aftermath, officials said Tuesday. 

After watching Matthew’s destruction, Town Councilman Mark Cuthbertson sought a fundraising partnership with Marie Michele Destil, a native of Haiti and owner of Gingerbites Restaurant & Catering, which serves Haitian and Caribbean cuisine in Huntington Station. 

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“There is a dire humanitarian need to help feed and care for the children of Haiti,” Cuthbertson said in a release, adding that Matthew was “one of the strongest storm systems to hit this region in over 52 years.”

Matthew destroyed homes, buildings, roads and villages. The UN has reported shortages of food and clean water, and 7,000 people still in need of emergency relief. 

Destil said she was eager to partner on the effort to raise $5,000 for Meds & Food for Kids, a Haitian-based nonprofit that focuses on helping children in need.

“I feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful relief effort especially knowing that the proceeds will benefit the children of my homeland who are in such a dire need,” Destil said in a release.
Cuthbertson and other town board members joined Destil Monday at a news conference announcing the joint effort. 

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Monetary donations will be accepted through Nov. 30 at Gingersnap, 7300 East Jericho Turnpike, and at Town Hall, located at 100 Main St. in Huntington.