The Island Harvest food bank distributes food at Central Islip...

The Island Harvest food bank distributes food at Central Islip High School on July 9. Credit: Corey Sipkin

Island Harvest Food Bank and its 400 member agencies implore our federal delegation to provide critical funding to Nassau and Suffolk counties amid the ongoing response to COVID-19 so we can continue to help families vulnerable to food insecurity.

Both counties rely heavily on income from sales tax revenue to help fund much-needed nonprofit programs. The region’s virtual economic collapse resulted in a dramatic downturn in state and local tax revenue. Without immediate federal aid to our region, Island Harvest Food Bank’s network of hunger-relief organizations have already heard from our elected officials that we face major cuts in funding and, for some organizations, this may mean possible closures when they are needed most. The amount of aid to the counties falls desperately short of what is needed to combat, and even begin to recover from, the costs associated with COVID-19, the extended closures, the programs that need to be reopened, and the economic recovery.

The federal government is urged to act rapidly to provide desperately needed funding to help those struggling just to put food on their tables.

Randi Shubin Dresner,


Editor’s note: The writer is president and chief executive of Island Harvest.

Where are those who once helped out?

I am so disappointed in the country I love. Is not this the nation where our troops went to war and those on the homefront, especially our women, built planes and ships to help the war effort? Is not this the country where we rationed food to help those fighting to protect our way of life? Where are the people who helped those running from the Twin Towers with water and rides home? Where are those who went to work in the rubble at great risk to themselves to rescue and recover their fellow citizens?

Now we face another deadly enemy that has killed more Americans than 9/11 and the Vietnam War combined, and we are not willing to simply wear a face covering and avoid crowds to save each other’s lives. As a health care professional, I can tell you that we need to follow our medical and public health officials’ advice. This is not politics. It is science plain and simple.

Anthony Pignataro,