Veterans, who are now students at Dowling College joined U.S. Marines who served in Iraq and Afghanistan in unloading 2,400 Thanksgiving Turkeys that Stop & Shop donated to Island Harvest Food Bank and Long Island Cares, the Harry Chapin Food Bank. (Pictured left to right): Arlene Putterman, Manager of Public Relations for Stop & Shop’s New York Metro Division, Marine Staff Sargent Ricardo Martinez, Dowling Veteran Allan Fajardo, Michael Wern, Dowling College’s Veteran and Military Services Coordinator, Marine Captain, Brad Bolton and Dowling Veterans Robyn Hall and Michael Meinardus.
Stop & Shop’s Turkey Express program will deliver nearly 21,000 turkeys to hunger relief organizations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island this holiday season.
Facts about Hunger on Long Island:
- One of every eight Long Islanders, approximately 316,000 people receive emergency food each year, that?s over 65,000 people every week.
- 74 percent of the Long Island households served by emergency food programs are food insecure, according to the U.S. government?s official food security scale.
- 39 percent of Long Islanders who receive emergency food are children under 18 years old.
- Nearly half, 48 percent, receiving emergency food assistance are the working poor: households that include at least one employed adult. Of these, 63% have monthly incomes below the federal poverty level. Nearly half report having to choose between paying the rent or utilities and paying for food.
- The elderly make up 4 percent of Long Island?s hungry.
- About 6 percent of Long Islanders receiving food assistance are homeless and are made up of individuals who are the victims of abuse or have been forced out of closed institutions. Many of these individuals are also mentally, physically, emotionally or socially disabled and face limited employment opportunities, additional barriers and/or may have difficulty feeding themselves.
Stop & Shop donates over $12 million in product and financial support to individual food banks. In addition to the Turkey Express program, Stop & Shop continues to fight hunger through the Food for Friends campaign, which will raise more than $1 million this year for more than 300 local hunger relief organizations through the states that it operates in.