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Long Island Council of Churches gets $50,000 grant from Walmart Foundation

The Long Island Council of Churches will be filling a few more dinner tables after receiving a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation.

The money will help the Hempstead-based group expand their emergency food services division, enabling them to purchase products that cater to more seniors and those with special diets, such as low-salt, low-fat, dietetic foods and supplemental drinks, baby items and more whole-grain foods, according to a release from the organization.

"Despite all the support we receive locally from houses of worship, civic organizations and the like, we need monetary donations to make up the gap between these in-kind donations and the needs of the more than 24,000 hungry Long Islanders we feed each year," LICC executive director the Rev. Tom Goodhue said Tuesday in a statement. "The Walmart Foundation's generous grant helps us to accomplish that."

The LICC is a nonprofit faith group that seeks to provide social services and emergency food to Long Islanders. The group provided 210,285 meals to 23,365 people in 2013.

The center is trying to focus on providing nutritious meals, Wally Merna, the LICC's Freeport Emergency Food Center manager, said in a statement.

"With the cuts in the SNAP program, we're finding that not only are more and more families coming in more frequently, but they also need help accessing nutritional foods," he said.

The Walmart Foundation is the philanthropy arm of the retail company by the same name, which owns the Walmart and Sam's Club chains. The foundation donates $2 billion each year to hunger prevention in the United States and other community-building causes around the world.

"Long Island Council of Churches continues to make a profound impact on society, providing emergency food assistance to those in need," Jason Klipa, director of public affairs and government relations for Walmart, said in a statement.

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