We’ve got to be honest: We really wish we didn’t live in a society where a few folks have more than is, quite frankly, conceivable while most other people work ridiculous hours, can’t afford to save for rainy days and regularly feel like they have to decide between gambling with their health and paying their bills.
It would be nice if we could spend more time with our families, lay low for a while and focus on the essentials without being terrified of losing entire livelihoods, including so many small businesses that are keys to what make a community special.
We are grateful, at least, that while the system doesn’t seem prepared for a pandemic — and we’ve heard that many small food pantries have been shut down — a multitude of dedicated locals remain committed to making sure everyone gets fed.
Cooperation LI is a remarkable resource of local organizations that recently sprang up. It “brings together community-based organizations, base-building groups, service non-profits, jail advocates, immigrant rights groups, reproductive healthcare providers, faith organizations, and other community leaders to identify and support the diverse needs of the Long Island community, while centering the needs of traditionally marginalized communities..”
Then there are the major entities working to help keep people fed:
The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network): “addresses the issues of hunger and homelessness on Long Island by providing food, shelter, long-term housing, and supportive services in a dignified and respectful manner for those who seek our help.” Here’s their COVID-19 Plan and how to help.
Island Harvest: “Providing food and services for people who are hungry, and a voice for people who are in need. Island Harvest is the largest hunger relief organization on Long Island.” Here’s a local pantry list they offer.
LI Cares: “Founded by the late Harry Chapin, Long Island Cares brings together all available resources for the benefit of the hungry and food insecure on Long Island and, to the best of our ability, provides for the humanitarian needs of our community. Our goals are to improve food security for families, sponsor programs that help families achieve self-sufficiency, and educate the general public about the causes and consequences of hunger on Long Island.” Here’s their food pantry list.
Then there are so many smaller groups that have a profound impact on their community. Here are just a few other endeavors we’ve seen. We encourage you to see what’s going on in your community!
Neighbors Supporting Neighbors in Babylon Which was founded in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and continues to help tremendously recently offered this on their Facebook Page: “Time spent this morning reflecting on the past 12 weeks, realizing tomorrow is June 1st!! In 12 weeks we have gone from feeding 250 people a day to feeding 1700 people a day!
With the support and dedication of Island Harvest, our amazing team and an even more amazing community, we have been able to adapt, grow and change to meet the growing need of the families in our community. Each week the need grows as more families and senior citizens from all over the Town of Babylon and beyond look for a little extra support. The team spends countless hours figuring out how make it all work. Fridays we all exhale, knowing we made it one more week, amazed that we were able to distribute groceries to 550 families in 2 hours!! Then the anxiousness builds as we all look around at our depleted supplies and try to figure out how can we make it through one more week.
Somehow we know we will be able to do it! We know we will be able to do it because of all of you!! Thank you to everyone that continues to support us. We can use non-perishable and perishable donations – sauce, canned meats, beans, rice, canned vegetables, fruit cups, snacks!! We can use gently used children’s and young adult books. Donations can be dropped off at the high school Monday- Friday 10-12. If you would like to make a cash donation, checks can be written to Neighbors Supporting Neighbors Babylon and mailed to 24 Gamecock Lane Babylon 11702 or Venmo @NeighborsSupporting-Neighbors
The Mastic Beach Ambulance Company has been an amazing page to follow. They’ve answered over 900 calls this year, figured out how to also help with food drives, and also manage to help folks prepare for other emergencies that won’t stop just because a pandemic has come to town.