Local efforts to support food banks have kicked up lately as Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the area.
Molly Miskiewicz, a social work graduate intern in Baldwin, has been helping deliver essential items to anyone unable to acquire them, like food, water and clothing, since mid-March.
She has also been running a safe, contact-free food drive, for which she picks up donations from community members and delivers them to local food banks, including the one at St. Christopher’s Church in Baldwin. Miskiewicz said she has received a large number of donations so far.
“We’ve collected thousands of dollars in donations just within a few weeks,” she said. “It’s truly incredible to see the community come together like this. The best of humanity is truly shining through during this dark time.”
To reach her, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her via Facebook. She is also working with Bethany House, and is trying to involve more food pantries.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statistics for 2018, more than 10 percent of households in New York are food insecure. In Nassau County, the problem is more pronounced, with the Long Island Health Collaborative, a consortium of the region’s hospitals and health networks, reporting that in 2014, nearly 24 percent of adults — roughly 1 in 4 — faced food insecurity.
The agency defines food insecurity for households as those that are “uncertain of having or unable to acquire enough food to meet the needs of all their members.”
Additionally, the Town of Hempstead has allotted $2 million of a $133 million federal aid package toward 14 food banks across the town to help ensure residents in need are fed during the pandemic, officials said May 5.
Food distribution centers, run by Long Island Cares staff, will be located in Baldwin, Elmont, Lawrence, Roosevelt and other communities, and will be open two days a week for a total of eight hours. Times are subject to change depending on community need.
According to the Long Island Cares website, in Baldwin, there is the St. Christopher Church food pantry, at 11 Gale Ave., which is open Monday and Friday from 2 to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Long Island Cares will provide food through the St. Christopher parish pantry in McGoldrick Hall on Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. Clients should be Baldwin residents who are truly in need, according to the parish.
There is also the Hatzilu Rescue Organization, at 2959 Grand Ave., which runs by appointment only.
For more information about where the food banks are located or how to schedule a pick-up or delivery, visit licares.org or call (631) 582-3663.
Scott Brinton contributed to this story.