The Bethpage Turkey Drive benefiting Island Harvest Food Bank, which has grown to become the largest food drive event on Long Island, is celebrating a milestone this year. For 10 years Bethpage has encouraged Long Islanders to support one another during the holidays, a time when community residents experiencing food insecurity, just like their neighbors, deserve to enjoy a holiday meal with family and friends.
“Long Island is home to many charitable people and organizations. When our neighbors express a need, we support and assist them as best we can,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president of Bethpage Federal Credit Union. “Bethpage is pleased to head up this vital yearly initiative for Island Harvest for the past 10 years. Island Harvest is a devoted organization, which with the help of the community, supports 70,000 households per month. I am confident that this year’s anniversary turkey drive will be our best one yet.”
The 10th Anniversary Bethpage Turkey Drive will take place on Friday, Nov. 16, from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s headquarters, located at 899 South Oyster Bay Road in Bethpage.
Long Islanders are asked to drop off frozen turkeys, non-perishable food items (except those in glass containers), supermarket gift cards or cash donations. These donations will go directly to Island Harvest Food Bank which will then help supply Thanksgiving holiday meals to the more than 300,000 food-insecure Long Islanders through its distribution network of 500 food pantries, soup kitchens and other feeding programs on Long Island.
“Most unique to the Bethpage Food Drive is that donors don’t have to get out of their cars to make a donation. Instead, we create a donation drive-through where an army of enthusiastic volunteers greet donors in their cars to collect the food,” said Armyn.
“Each year, Bethpage Federal Credit Union hosts one of Island Harvest’s most important fundraising efforts, the Bethpage Turkey Drive. On this day alone, more food donations are made to Island Harvest than any other single day of the year,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank. “Bethpage’s dedication over the last ten years has been far-reaching and has not gone unnoticed by thousands of grateful food recipients.”
For those unable to travel to Bethpage’s main branch on Nov. 16, Nassau and Suffolk County residents can visit any of Bethpage’s 34 branch locations to drop off any monetary donations you may have. For a complete list of Bethpage branches, go to www.lovebethpage.com.
Since the first Bethpage Turkey Drive was organized in 2009, hundreds of community volunteers have come out to assist in the collection of more than 30,000 turkeys and more than 109,000 pounds of food which were then provided to Long Island families facing hardship in time for the holidays. Last year, 2,560 turkeys were donated and over 9,000 pounds of food. Island Harvest Food Bank has seen an increase in the requests for food and support services among more than 450 community-based agencies it serves. About 70,000 individuals receive food assistance from the Island Harvest Food Bank network each week.
In addition to Bethpage Federal Credit Union, this year’s sponsors include News 12 Long Island, PSEG Long Island, TGIF Entertainment, Fusion Productions and Panera Bread.