51 from N.Y. Wing Help Distribute 100K Lbs. to Long Islanders
Maj. Warren Weiss
Director of Public Affairs
Fifty-one members from the New York Wing’s Long Island and New York City groups came together July 2 with other volunteer organizations to distribute 100,000 pounds of dry goods, meat, fresh produce and milk to families in need across Long Island—many affected by economic fallout from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The groups’ effort came in support of Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger-relief organization. As the day progressed at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, wing members packaged and distributed boxes of goods to thousands of people, arriving on foot or in vehicles, all while enduring the sweltering summer heat.
Island Harvest President and CEO Randi Shubin Dresner and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran oversaw the event and thanked Civil Air Patrol for its service and dedication. The day's actions amounted to be the largest food distribution event in Nassau County's history.
"We’re here today because of this pandemic that has forced so many people to question whether they can put food on the table for their families," Dresner said. "There are tens of thousands of people across Long Island that we’ve met the past couple of months—volunteers of ours, contributors of ours, supporters of so many different causes—and the floor has been pulled out from underneath them. Now, they find themselves on the other side of the food line."
CAP has been supporting Island Harvest since April, available daily as needed.
Island Harvest volunteers and staff have delivered millions of pounds of surplus food—much of which might otherwise go to waste—to a network of 570 Long Island-based food pantries, soup kitchens and other nonprofit organizations that offer feeding services for those in need.
“Enduring challenging weather conditions during a holiday week, these New York Wing members demonstrated the indomitable volunteer spirit that permeates Civil Air Patrol members across the country,” said Brig. Gen. Ed Phelka, CAP’s national vice commander. “Providing critical services to local communities, Civil Air Patrol members have been working more than 100 days in COVID-19 relief missions across the country.”
Acting as a Total Force partner and the official civilian auxiliary of the U.S Air Force, CAP is aligned with First Air Force to rapidly respond to non-military threats domestically when tasked in a Defense Support of Civil Authorities capacity to save lives, relieve suffering, prevent property damage and provide humanitarian assistance.