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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Stony Brook Students and Campus Dining Services Care

    The fall breeze has become a winter gust and holiday season is in full swing; a time for heavy coats and warm cooked meals. However, there always some who are not as fortunate this time of year to receive such benefits that many tend to take for granted. While that may seem disheartening, rest assured, many individuals on Long Island are being helped by organizations dedicated towards ending hunger.


    Long Island Cares and Island Harvest are two organizations that are devoted to bringing relief to those who are suffering from hunger. Their relationship with Stony Brook Campus Dining Services has allowed even more individuals to be fed due to the help that contributing students are imparting.

    Since 1980, the purpose of Long Island Cares has been to ‘bring together all available resources for the benefit of the hungry on Long Island,’ as it cites in its mission statement. They look to corporations, foundations, and people to help provide food and aid in soup kitchens, food pantries, group homes, and other areas with people in need.

    At the end of each semester, Long Island Cares comes to Stony Brook University to gather food from bins that are designated for food donations by students. They come back as many times as necessary, usually several times, to collect donations that students make.

    This past Thanksgiving, students were able to pay $11.95 for packaged bags at Kelly Dining filled with fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner. In one week, students purchased fifty bags.

    Now, right before the end of the term for the holiday season, students have the ability to donate their extra meals points either by purchasing the prepackaged bags, any packaged item, or the putting the points themselves toward purchasing food for Long Island Cares. They will then distribute the contributions to smaller organizations like soup kitchens, emergency shelters, food pantries, senior citizens and day care centers.

    Lisa Ospitale, director of marketing for campus dining services, stated that last June, at least a hundred pounds of food was donated to Long Island Cares. She said that people ‘tend to give more for the holiday season,’ and ‘donations tend to be bigger,’ thus the collection this winter may yield even more donations.

    As many become mindful of those who unfortunately, for one reason or another, are unable to feed their families or themselves at this time of year, Stony Brook students have the ability to make a significant contribution. For students who wish to make donations in dining halls like Kelly, the process is simple yet gratifying. In swiping away some extra, unused meal points that would otherwise expire by December 21 2007, students can help feed families.

    Long Island Harvest, another organization dedicated to fighting hunger in addition to reducing food waste also offers food collection, volunteer opportunities, and programs designated for groups of individuals such as women, children, and New York State residents over sixty.

    In the June graduation at Stony Brook of this year, individual lunches that were designated for the event but not consumed were packed into sixteen large brown boxes, which Island Harvest came and collected in refrigerated trucks and used to donate to the Interface Nutrition Center.

    Located in Hempstead, the Interface Nutrition Center provides lunches every day to those in need in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and has nineteen soup kitchens established with many volunteers. The boxed lunches from the graduation went to an event that helped feed families affected by HIV and AIDS.

    For students wishing to make a substantial difference for a person or family suffering from hunger, Long Island Cares and Island Harvest, in association with Campus Dining Services, are helping to accomplish that goal.

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