St. Aloysius and Temple Beth-El Brotherhood volunteers separate $1,200 worth of fresh produce into 90 to 100 bags for community members in need every two weeks. (Contributed photo)

The Interfaith Food Pantry Needs Your Help

To help combat food insecurity in our community, Brotherhood of Temple Beth-El of Great Neck has been partnering with the St. Aloysius Interfaith Food Pantry in Great Neck, purchasing and distributing nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables for nearly 10 years.

Great Neck is a special community—and many consider it a privilege to live here. Our community features excellent schools, beautiful parks and an easy commute to Manhattan. The peninsula is a wonderful place to call home; and in many ways, it is considered a prosperous community.

However, this is not the full Great Neck story. Many families in Great Neck are struggling. According to the Office of Temporary Assistance, several hundred families are on public assistance or Welfare, and approximately 1,300 families depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or food stamps.

The St. Aloysius Interfaith Food Pantry in Great Neck largely serves working-poor families, including substantial numbers of children and the elderly, bridging the gap by providing the nutritious foods necessary to maintain a healthy diet.
Making this mission even more challenging, the recent and continuing inflationary period has led to significant increases in the costs of fruit and vegetables for the community the food pantry serves.

Every two weeks, wholesaler Krystal Fruits & Vegetables of Syosset delivers $1,200 worth of tomatoes, apples, oranges, carrots, cabbage, lettuce, sweet potatoes and bananas to the pantry. Volunteers from both St. Aloysius and Brotherhood separate the produce into approximately 90 to 100 bags.

Under the guidance of the food pantry director, Bertha del Carpio, the following day the volunteers distribute those bags, along with others containing nonperishable food, to the local patrons who arrive at the pantry throughout the year, regardless of the weather.

Brotherhood spends more than $30,000 each year supporting its fresh fruits and vegetables initiative, as well as other adjunct programs with the food pantry.

Prior to this year, Brotherhood relied on a $10,000 matching grant from a local foundation. Unfortunately, this funding source is no longer available, and Brotherhood is now solely reliant on donations from individuals.

In order to continue providing fresh fruits and vegetables to Great Neck’s working poor, financial support from the greater Great Neck community is sorely needed.

Please consider supporting this important, ongoing, year-round community program. The entirety of all donations will go toward purchasing fruits and vegetables.

Contributions to the Great Neck Interfaith Food Pantry can be made directly to Temple Beth-El of Great Neck, 5 Old Mill Rd., Great Neck, NY 10023. For further information, contact Stuart Botwinick, Temple Beth-El executive director, at 516-487-0900 or [email protected].

—Submitted by
Temple Beth-El of Great Neck

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