***Situation made more dire because of Federal Government cuts to SNAP Food Stamp Program***
Paule T. Pachter, Executive Director of Long Island Cares (upper right) and Randi Shubin Dresner, President and CEO of Island Harvest (second from right) look on as U.S. Marines who served
in Iraq and Afghanistan helped unload 2400 turkeys that Stop & Shop Supermarket donated to Island Harvest and Long Island Cares.
The Marines say they hope their efforts will lead others to help Island Harvest and Long Island Cares meet the needs of the hungry in this difficult economic period. For Long Island’s food challenged, the federal cuts made to the SNAP food stamp program at the beginning of the month will make life even more difficult for the almost 190,000 Long Islanders enrolled in the program, a number that has more than doubled in the past five years, because of the recession and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. The monthly maximum benefit was cut by $11 a month to $189 for a single person, and $36 a month, to $632 for four-person families.
Stop & Shop’s Turkey Express program will deliver nearly 21,000 turkeys to hunger relief organizations in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, this holiday season.
Stop & Shop donates over $12 million in product and financial support to individual food banks. In addition to the Turkey Express program, Stop & Shop continues to fight hunger through the Food for Friends campaign, which will raise more than $1 million this year for more than 300 local hunger relief organizations through the five states that it operates in.