Thanks to three grants totaling $57,500, the Long Island Council of Churches says it has been able to increase its efforts in feeding the Island’s growing number of hungry people.
Besides helping the Hempstead-based ecumenical and interfaith group to keep up with added mouths to feed, the money has allowed the organization to convert its small satellite pantry in Hempstead into a full-fledged food center, and to increase the hours its Riverhead food center is open, the council said Monday in a news release.
Nearly 250 Hempstead visitors a month are receiving meals, as well as three-days food supply, said the Rev. Tom Goodhue, the council’s executive director. In October, the Freeport and Hempstead centers together fed an all-time high number of 1,812, he said.
Last year saw an increase at the Freeport center of 500 people over 2014’s total, including 161 more seniors, said center manager Wally Merna.
Earmarked for Nassau County use was a $20,000 grant from the Nassau County Bar Association, with a $20,000 grant from the Long Island Community Foundation and a $17,500 grant from the Slomo and Cindy Silvian Foundation going to support those in both Nassau and Suffolk counties, the release said.
In all the council’s emergency food program provided food to 22,180 hungry Long Islanders last year.