Long Island largest on-site food drive, the 5th Annual Bethpage Turkey Drive to benefit Island Harvest Food Bank, is expanding this year to take place in both Nassau and Suffolk counties, organizers announced Wednesday.
Long Islanders are asked to donate frozen turkeys, non-perishable food items or cash donations, which will help Mineola-based Island Harvest supply meals to the over 300,000 hungry Long Islanders in need, including the thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims still facing hardship.
In Nassau, the daylong drive will take place outside of Bethpage FCU’s main branch located at 899 South Oyster Bay Road. The Bethpage event is set for Friday, Nov. 15, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Each year the turkey drive has grown to what is now considered the largest on-site food drive on Long Island and so we are thrilled this year to expand even more by partnering with Stony Brook University to offer a drop off location for Suffolk County residents,” says Linda Armyn, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Bethpage. “This year also commemorates our fifth year working to support Island Harvest, an organization that has greatly accomplished so much for Long Island."
This year, Stony Brook University will play host to the food drive as well, where volunteers will accept donations in the university parking lot just outside of the Kenneth P. LaValle Stadium. The Stony Brook Sea Wolves play the the Albany Great Danes at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. The food drive runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Countless Long Island families continue to struggle through economic uncertainty and many more are still dealing with the effects of the storm," said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO, Island Harvest.
"Thanks to the continued support of Bethpage Federal Credit Union, (co-sponsors) Cablevision, Connoisseur Media and generous Long Islanders, the holidays will be a bit more hopeful for our neighbors in need,” she said.
Also on Nov. 15, Nassau and Suffolk County residents unable to travel to Bethpage’s main branch, can visit any of Bethpage’s other 24 branch locations to drop off all non-perishable donations. For a complete list of Bethpage branches, go to www.lovebethpage.com.
Since the first Bethpage Turkey Drive was organized in 2009, hundreds of community volunteers have come out to assist in the collection of over 20,000 turkeys and 50,000 pounds of food, which were then provided to Long Island families facing hardship in time for the holidays.
Island Harvest has seen an increase in the requests for food and support services among the 570 community-based agencies it serves. About 70,000 individuals receive food assistance from the Island Harvest network each week. Now, following Hurricane Sandy, the numbers are still unprecedented.
Bethpage FCU is Long Island’s largest credit union with over 228,000 members, 25 branches and 60 shared service center locations throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Bethpage maintains branch locations in Bay Shore, Bay Shore King Kullen, Bethpage, Central Islip, Commack King Kullen, Elmont, Farmingdale, Freeport, Glen Cove, Hempstead, Huntington, Levittown King Kullen, Lynbrook, Massapequa, Melville, Mineola, North Babylon, Patchogue, Port Jefferson, Riverhead, Seaford, Smithtown, Roosevelt, West Babylon and Westbury with over 425 surcharge-free ATMs in King Kullen, 7-Eleven, CVS Pharmacy and Costco locations throughout Long Island. For more information, call 1-800-628-7070 or visit www.bethpagefcu.com.