Island Harvest Food Bank has announced the donation of a 20,000-square-foot area of a warehouse in Calverton by longtime supporter John King, Chief Customer Officer of J. Kings Food Service, according to Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank.
Island Harvest has been using part of the more than 120,000 square foot dry storage facility, at 2711 Sound Avenue for many years. The space that Island Harvest has been using at no cost is just under 20 percent of the total facility, King said in a phone interview. King explained that by making the donation legal, he “just made it official so they wouldn’t have to worry about it in the future.”
The warehouse space will help facilitate the collection and distribution of food (in particular, fresh fruits and vegetables donated by the local farming community) to those in need on the East End of Long Island. The warehouse will also serve as a distribution point for disaster relief in Eastern Suffolk County, as Island Harvest Food Bank is a lead agency in the region’s emergency response preparedness for food and product distribution.
“The Calverton site, generously donated by J. Kings, will be a strategic element in the efficient flow of food to those in Eastern Suffolk who are facing hunger and food insecurity,” said Shubin Dresner. “The proximity of the warehouse to East End farms enables Island Harvest Food Bank to provide top-quality, nutritious fruits and vegetables to the population in need of our services.”
Since 2008, the Long Island Farm Bureau’s members have donated more than 12 million pounds of fresh, locally grown surplus produce to Island Harvest Food Bank, making the collaborative one of the largest farm-to-food-bank programs in New York State.
“Island Harvest Food Bank and those we serve are grateful to John King for recognizing the need to increase our food sourcing and distribution on the East End, and taking positive steps to make storage space available on a long-term basis,” stated Shubin Dresner. “We also thank the members of the Long Island Farm Bureau for their continued support, and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone for his assistance in helping to secure this strategic location.”
“The Island Harvest Food Bank now has the opportunity to enhance and diversify its food collection and distribution operations due to the generous donation by J Kings Food Service,” said County Executive Steve Bellone. “Both organizations are to be applauded for their commitment to addressing food insecurity within our region.”
Island Harvest Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief organization on Long Island, according to its website. It 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 over 316,000 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. Island Harvest is a four-star-rated nonprofit by Charity Navigator, an independent charity watchdog organization.
Source: Press release issued by J. Kings Food Service dated March 7, 2017.