NEW YORK – At a time when 89,000 children on Long Island are struggling with food insecurity, the proposal by the Trump’s administration to cut funding for afterschool meals programs for children is troubling to Long Island Cares, Inc. and the regional food bank is making their position known to the members of the Long Island congressional delegation. In a letter to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and Representatives King, Meeks, Rice, Zeldin and Suozzi, Long Island Cares’ CEO Paule Pachter stated that, “Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney’s rationale for these proposed cuts are not based upon fact or upon available data that shows that when children do not have access to nutritious food they are at risk academically, socially, physically and emotionally.”
As the regional food bank for Nassau and Suffolk County, Long Island Cares, The Harry Chapin Food Bank currently supports thousands of children through several of its direct service programs that provide nutritious meals at times when schools are closed. In 2016, they provided the following to children on Long Island:
475 children received 6,432 meals through our Pack it Up for Kids weekend meals program;
764 children received 66,874 meals through our 15 Kids Café afterschool programs;
9,154 meals were provided to children participating in our Summer Meals Program;
6,772 children received food through our three hunger assistance centers in Freeport, Lindenhurst and Huntington Station;
7,994 children received a nutritious breakfast from our two Mobile Children’s Breakfast Food Trucks;
4,031 children were provided with 289,836 meals through our Mobile School Pantry program in the Brentwood and Wyandanch school districts.
According to Pachter, “At a time when poverty in our region is increasing, and 50% of our member agencies are reporting between a 10%-25% increase in the number of people turning to our emergency food network for assistance, this is not the time to even entertain a reduction in funding for afterschool meal programs. The facts and numbers speak for themselves. Long Island Cares provided 380,290 afterschool meals for 20,036 children last year and we should not be turning our backs on them now.”
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