FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Island Harvest Food Bank Food Bank’s leadership were joined by officials from Farmingdale State College, and local hunger-relief advocates to break ground on nearly ¼-acre on the college’s campus that will be used to grow vegetables to provide nutritious produce to Long Islanders accessing feeding programs served by the hunger-relief organization.
The initiative is part of the food bank’s ‘Giving Garden’ program that supplies produce to its network of agencies in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Last year, the food bank collected nearly 490,000 pounds of produce cultivated among the 40 gardens that are part of the program. Also, Long Island’s commercial farming community donated 1.8 million pounds of locally grown fruits and vegetables to help approximately 300,000 Long Islanders struggling with hunger and food insecurity.
“Chronic health problems often exist among people who are identified as food insecure, or lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food,” according to Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. Public health experts cite several chronic health issues resulting from poor diets that often include diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and obesity. “Growing nutritionally rich, fresh fruits and vegetables in gardens like here in Farmingdale, are vital to providing long-term, sustainable food security for the people we serve, and we’re pleased to partner with Farmingdale State College on this important initiative,” said Shubin Dresner.
“Partnering with the Island Harvest Food Bank aligns perfectly with our core values of community service and sustainability,” said Farmingdale State College President John Nader. “Establishing the Giving Garden during the year we celebrate our Centennial Commencement underscores the College’s rich heritage.”
Under the supervision of Island Harvest Food Bank’s certified organic gardener, volunteers that will include Farmingdale State College’s faculty, staff, and student body will cultivate crops toinclude tomatoes, beets, garlic, squash, and other herbs and vegetables. In all, more than 3,500 pounds of produce is expected to be grown, and in turn, distributed to local food pantries, soups kitchens and other feeding programs serviced by Island Harvest Food Bank. Other ‘Giving Garden’ locations on Long Island include those in Brentwood, Central Islip, and Lake Grove. For more information on Island Harvest Food Bank’s ‘Giving Garden’ program, or how you can start one in your community, contact Hillary Hess at 631-873-4775.
About Hunger and Food Insecurity on Long Island
Food insecurity is a state in which people do not get enough food consistently to provide nutrients for active and healthy lives. It can result from the recurrent lack of access to food. More than 300,000 Long Islanders face the risk of hunger every day, according to Island Harvest Food Bank and Feeding America®, a national hunger-relief organization. People facing hunger include adults (often working two jobs), children, senior citizens, and veterans. Unable to make ends meet, they (and their children) are often forced to go without food. Approximately 70,000 individuals seek food assistance in Nassau and Suffolk counties each week through soup kitchens, food pantries and other feeding programs served by Island Harvest Food Bank.
About Island Harvest Food Bank
Island Harvest Food Bank is a leading hunger-relief organization that provides food and other resources to people in need. Always treating those it helps with dignity and respect, its goal is to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island through efficient food collection and distribution; enhanced hunger-awareness and nutrition-education programs; job training; and direct services targeted at children, senior citizens, veterans, and others at risk of food insecurity. As a result of Island Harvest Food Bank’s dynamic business model, more than 94 percent of expended resources go directly to programs and services that support more than 300,000 Long Islanders facing hunger. Island Harvest Food Bank is a lead agency in the region’s emergency response preparedness for food and product distribution and is a member of Feeding America®, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief organization. For five consecutive years, Island Harvest Food Bank has earned a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, a leading independent charity watchdog organization. Island Harvest Food Bank is among just 9% of the organizations rated by Charity Navigator to merit the four-star designation. More information about Island Harvest Food Bank is at www.islandharvest.org.
About Farmingdale State College
As the largest of SUNY’s colleges of technology (10,000+ students), Farmingdale State College equips students with the resources and knowledge sought by today’s emerging industries. Offering both bachelor and associate degrees, FSC introduced its first Master’s degree – Technology Management – in 2017. At FSC, students learn in small, personalized classes and have abundant opportunities for applied learning—internships, clinical training, and guided research—that provide practical instruction and personal growth. The mission of Farmingdale State College is to deliver exceptional academic and applied learning outcomes through scholarship, research, and student engagement for Long Island and beyond. The College’s commitment to student-centered learning and inclusiveness prepares graduates to be exemplary citizens equipped to excel in a competitive, diverse, and technologically dynamic society. For more information, go to Farmingdale.edu
–Island Harvest Food Bank
Farmingdale State College
For more articles out of New York, click here.