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Mobile pantry helps seniors, the disabled

A Mineola-based food bank says a new mobile pantry that delivers food to low-income senior citizens and people with disabilities is helping a segment of the population that previously had no access to its food services.

Island Harvest launched the mobile program this summer after learning from its nonprofit partners that senior citizens and the disabled often can’t make it to food banks because of transportation limitations, said Randi Shubin Dresner, the organization’s president and chief executive.

“We wanted to do something to help the community, and we figured the best way was to go to them instead of waiting for them to find us,” she said. “This is a whole new group of people benefiting.”

The mobile food pantry consists of a Dodge Ram 2500 diesel pickup truck pulling a Wildwood Toy Hauler trailer. The setup allows Island Harvest to deliver fresh fruits and vegetables as well as canned goods and other products to about 300 people’s homes three days a week, Shubin Dresner said.

The pantry is equipped with a stove for cooking demonstrations as well as a private meeting area for talks with clients, Shubin Dresner said. It travels to people in Allyn P. Robinson Village in Central Islip, Windmill Village in East Hampton, and subsidized housing complexes run by the Freeport Housing Authority, she said.

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