Mission: The mission of island harvest is to end hunger and reduce food waste on long island.
Programs: Island harvest, ltd. (the "organization" or "island harvest"), provides food and non-food items to 316,000 long islanders, including children, adults, seniors, veterans and families of active military personnel who are living with food insecurity and in need, giving them a voice to help them transition from uncertainty to stability. The organization's mission is to end hunger and reduce food waste on long island through efficient food and product collection and distribution system, enhanced hunger awareness and nutrition education programs, job training, targeted services for specific populations, and outreach and advocacy activities and initiatives. (continued on schedule o)island harvest is among the region's leading agencies in emergency response readiness for food and product distribution and support, and is a member of feeding america, the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Island harvest was founded in 1992 by long islander linda breitstone. In an effort to create a bridge between those who had excess food and those who needed it, she began collecting good surplus food that was being discarded at the end of each business day using her station wagon and a cooler. Today, island harvest is on the front lines, addressing hunger and food insecurity on long island throughout the year. In an effort to support the diverse population with equally diverse programming, the organization created the island harvest centers of excellence, as described below. The island harvest center for food collection & distributionhealthy food and product are sourced from both purchased items and received donations. The organization partners with more than 800 local businesses, including: major food manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, supermarkets and other retailers, food service companies, and long island farms. In addition, hundreds of companies, organizations and groups generously conduct food drives for island harvest. The organization also receives food and product through the partnership with the nationwide feeding america network. With a very short turnaround period, island harvest distributes the food and product we receive to a network of 570 registered food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day cares, senior centers and other nonprofit organizations with feeding programs throughout nassau and suffolk counties. As a result of island harvest's dynamic business model, more than 94 cents of every contributed dollar goes directly to programming. The island harvest center for combatting childhood hungerhundreds of thousands of children on long island are living with hunger every day during the school year, even as free or reduced school lunches are available to offset the absence of food. Island harvest's kids weekend backpack feeding program provides packs of nutritious, shelf-stable food to children every friday who rely on school lunches and breakfasts, but may not receive healthy meals on saturdays and sundays. The food packs also contain quarterly newsletters that include age-appropriate, multilingual games and puzzles to encourage healthy eating and information for parents regarding local food resources. The food affords children the opportunity to return to school every monday nourished and better equipped to learn, socialize and excel. In an effort to continue to support children through the summer months, the summer food service program provides children who are at-risk of hunger with free lunches and snacks during july and august, when they do not have access to the free or reduced school lunches. In addition, educating the general public about hunger and food insecurity on long island is a powerful tool in addressing these challenges. Island harvest's coin harvest/hunger awareness program is implemented to bring information about the crisis of childhood hunger to students of all ages. The island harvest center for mobile servicesisland harvest ensures that the programs and services the organization provides are mobile and reach long islanders across nassau and suffolk counties. The senior mobile food pantry delivers fresh produce, protein, shelf-stable food, and product directly to senior citizens and people with disabilities on a weekly basis, who need food assistance, but may have difficulty reaching local pantries or other feeding programs. The mobile pantry makes visits to subsidized housing facilities and engages trained volunteers and staff members from partner community agencies and organizations to provide information and offer assistance on such topics as elder law, tax preparation, and fall prevention. Island harvest also offers access to flu shots and nutritional counseling. In addition, the organization's operation: hope team of veterans is out in the community delivering food, product and support to veterans, active duty personnel and their families. The island harvest center for emergency responseisland harvest was on the front lines during and immediately after superstorm sandy as a main source of food, supplies and support in the hardest hit communities and to first responders. The severity of the hurricane and the damage that was caused exposed the complexity and vulnerability of the networks of the food supply on long island. In order to prepare for the next disaster, island harvest continues to strengthen the organization's readiness for emergency response. Island harvest is maintaining and building relationships with other first responders, such as the american red cross and fire and police departments, in an effort to coordinate an organized and efficient response plan as needed when the next emergency situation occurs. The island harvest center for targeted populationsisland harvest tirelessly advocates on behalf of individuals and families affected by hunger throughout the region and nationally to: increase awareness of hunger; encourage the public to get involved and make a difference; and help the organization's registered member agencies provide holistic solutions to the problems their clients face from hunger and its root causes. Island harvest's coin harvest/hunger awareness program is implemented to bring information about the prevalence of childhood hunger to students of all ages. The organization also provides robust mobile education, outreach, mediation and enrollment assistance for long islanders who are eligible for snap (food stamps) benefits. In addition, island harvest employs a nutrition coordinator who is responsible for improving the nutritional education of individuals and families residing in nassau and suffolk counties, who are affected by hunger and living with food insecurity. The island harvest center for volunteer servicesover 5,000 volunteers make up the heart of island harvest. They offer their valuable time and skills to help the organization perform a wide variety of services to include: sorting food; hosting food drives; performing office work; participating on island harvest's speakers bureau-speaking in one, collective voice about hunger and food insecurity throughout long island.