Hands Together NY delivers!

By Ben Campbell

…thousands of pounds of food to people in need on Long Island. The volunteer group started in 2005 when retiree Gary Ahern—previously National Grid VP of Regulation & Pricing—started it as a team-HTNY-1building initiative. Gary contacted Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization whose volunteers serve as the bridge between those who have surplus food and those who need it. National Grid (then KeySpan) was the first corporate volunteer group to do team-based food runs. The volunteers pick up surplus food from supermarkets and restaurants and deliver it to nonprofit organization on Long Island to be distributed to those in need in the community.

Six separate food runs are performed each week from National Grid locations in Hicksville and Riverhead. Donated food is picked up from Fairway Markets, Dante’s Pizza, Panera Bread, KFC, and Allie’s Bakery and delivered to nonprofit agencies near our work locations.

To date, volunteers have delivered more than 513,300 lbs of food for Island Harvest, supplementing over 400,000 meals for Long Island families. Gary’s team started with a modest ten volunteers but has since grown to over 250. The Hands Together NY Board “is so grateful for each and every one of their 250+ volunteers who continue to inspire us with their passion and dedication for helping others.”

Ellen Robertson, one of National Grid’s volunteers, has been doing the food runs for over a decade: “I loved picking up food from places like supermarkets, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Panera Bread.  Helping others with something as basic as getting food is such an uplifting feeling, especially during the holidays–each year we are helping more and more families have a wonderful Christmas.”

Randi Shubin Dresner, President and CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank, commented on National Grid’s participation: “Island Harvest is grateful for the support from National Grid and its employees in assisting us in addressing the critical issue of hunger on Long Island in a highly proactive manner. Over the past 11 years, National Grid and its employee volunteers have made a big difference in the lives of people struggling with hunger in our local communities, delivering more than 513,000 pounds of food, and hope, to those in need.”

Hands Together NY logoKeep an eye out for more Hands Together NY events this fall!

Hands Together NY is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to, and passionate about, raising funds to help those struggling with issues of hunger or homelessness in our local communities. To find out more or join the group, go to hands.together.ny@gmail.com or call
516-545-3321. The organization could always use more helping hands!

Scroll down to see more photos of volunteers

Employee volunteers
Ann Marie McKenna and Steve Marangoni

Employee volunteers
Top: Dennis Mitarotondo and Susan Wallner
Bottom: Priya Dasani and Diana Manteria

One Comment

Ellen Healion

Hands Across Long Island is a peer run agency providing services to individuals with mental illness including a food pantry, housing, a mobile shower unit for homeless and housing for homeless individuals

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