TOH: Children will receive nutritious meals in backpacks


The Town of Hempstead’s Backpack Collection Drive will allow “food insecure” children within the town to carry home in style, nutritious meals that are donated to them each week by Island Harvest.

Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen, Town Clerk Sylvia Cabana and President and CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank Randi Shubin Dresner kicked off the “Kid’s Weekend” backpack donation drive to add to Island Harvest’s Weekend Backpack Feeding Program.

The Town hoped “to collect 700 new backpacks for local students throughout the Town to be able to carry food home with them every weekend, once classes begin.” But backpacks can still be donated at the Town offices at 200 North Franklin Street in Hempstead, or at Hempstead Town Hall, through Friday, September 14.

Town officials gave 10 new backpacks as “an initial donation” to add to Island Harvest’s Feeding Program.

Island Harvest Food Bank provides more than 1,700 local children from 28 schools children, with food insecurities, nutritious packs every Friday during the school year. Every pack holds the following; food for two lunches, two breakfasts, two snacks and two milk servings.

“For many of these kids, school meals may be the only meals they eat, which is why here in the Town of Hempstead we’re proud to partner with Long Island Harvest to help feed approximately 700 children in our area, right here in the Town of Hempstead, who are food insecure- receive the proper nutrition to sustain them through the weekend,” Gillen said in the release. “But before they can get their meals, we need to collect backpacks so that kids can take food home with them without feeling embarrassed. So we’re calling on residents to donate new backpacks, which can be dropped off at select Town of Hempstead locations.”

According to the release: “Food insecurity is a state in which people do not get enough food on a consistent basis to provide the nutrients for active and healthy lives. It can result from the recurrent lack of access to food. More than 300,000 Long Islanders face the risk of hunger every day, and anything we can do here in the Town of Hempstead to help push those numbers down, we are committed to doing.”