Huntington Town Board member spotlights food bank map
To help residents combat hunger, Huntington Town Board member Mark Mayoka is drawing attention to an interactive list and map of area food banks on his town Web page.
"There are still people suffering in foreclosure; people have lost their jobs, and although the unemployment rate appears to be coming down, there are many needy people in Huntington," Mayoka said.
He co-sponsored a resolution designating September as Hunger Action Month in Huntington with town Supervisor Frank Petrone.
According to town officials, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than 50 million Americans live at risk of hunger.
Don Proferes, president of the Community Food Council, a food pantry based in Huntington Station, said there is a pressing need for more awareness about the local hungry.
"Any time we can make aware the need to provide food for those in need in the community it's a good thing," he said.
He said his program needs food and monetary donations. In addition to food pantries, donations can also be made at Huntington Town Hall, 100 Main St., and at the Dix Hills Ice Rink, 575 Vanderbilt Pkwy.
"Because there are so many other pressing needs following [superstorm] Sandy, it seems donations have fallen off," Proferes said, adding that nonperishables such as canned meat, fruit, and vegetables are needed as well as soups, cereal, pasta and peanut butter and jelly.
"We take monetary donations to buy things like chopped meat, chicken and eggs, things people don't normally donate," Proferes said.
Petrone said Hunger Action Month offers an opportunity for people to stop, look around and act.
"There are people, perhaps neighbors, who had great jobs and lost them, and we take it for granted that because people live in a nice home that nothing's wrong," he said. "But hunger can be right in their own backyard or even within their own family."