Island Harvest Food Bank announced it has been awarded a $140,000 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation in support of the hunger-relief organization’s Mobile Food Pantry.
The funding will enable Island Harvest Food Bank to deliver direct services to enhance access to nutritious food and supportive services that address the social determinants of health and the needs of Long Islanders affected by hunger and poverty.
Through the Mobile Food Pantry, low- to-moderate-income families, senior citizens, people with disabilities and veterans will have access to healthy foods that are low-sodium, low-sugar, low-fat and protein-rich, particularly for seniors on restricted diets and food to meet the nutritional needs of growing children. Healthy foods will be distributed directly at nine sites in areas of concentrated poverty across Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The Mobile Food Pantry also offers access to public benefits, referrals to community resources and direct assistance, such as health screenings, flu shots, nutritional health and more.
Representatives from partnering organizations, as well as Island Harvest’s staff and specially-trained volunteers, will be on hand at the sites to provide these services. Island Harvest’s registered dietitians will provide clients with nutrition education, cooking demonstrations and recipes relevant to the specific food distributed through a mobile pantry.
“Thanks to the generosity of the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, Island Harvest Food Bank can continue its mission of providing healthier food choices and greater access to resources and services that help transition people facing hunger and poverty move from uncertainty to stability,” Island Harvest President Randi Shubin Dresner said. “The funding helps us to find ways to change the paradigm of addressing food insecurity by providing a more holistic approach that takes into account a variety of issues including overall health, access to fresh fruits and vegetables.”
The Mother Cabrini Health Foundation provides grants to organizations to help improve the health and well-being of the most vulnerable people in communities across New York State. The foundation seeks to strengthen the health outcomes of diverse communities, remove barriers to care and bridge gaps in health services by sponsoring and supporting activities, programs and initiatives that enhance access to affordable quality healthcare and healthcare services.
—Submitted by Island Harvest