The local airport community has always been extremely generous when donating time and money to worthy causes at our airports and within the surrounding communities.
This past September, the Airport Community Golf Classic (ACGC), which was founded to assist local airport and aviation-related associations with fundraising efforts, hosted its inaugural Golf Classic fundraiser, and all proceeds from this very successful event were distributed to the JFK Air Cargo Association, the Council of Airline Maintenance Managers (CALMM), and the Aviation High School Education Foundation.
On Friday, November 3, the JFK Air Cargo Association presented a check in the amount of $9,000 as a donation to the Island Harvest Food Bank, a leading human services and non-profit organization whose mission is to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island. Island Harvest supports hundreds of thousands of Long Island veterans, seniors, and families through both direct delivery programs and through their network of approximately 300 soup kitchens, food pantries, and other emergency feeding programs.
Since its inception, Island Harvest has collected, purchased, and distributed more than a million pounds of food and products monthly to neighbors in need across Long Island. To put that in context, between 2021-2022, Island Harvest supported nearly 13 million meals by providing 15.5 million pounds of healthy food to individuals and families on Long Island. Thousands of volunteers generously donated 41,822 hours of time to assist in food drives, food runs, warehouse sorting, and food distribution events.
Through its expanding partnership with local farmers and restaurants, Island Harvest has increased and improved the quantity and quality of its produce and meal distribution through its Community Supported Agriculture Programs (CSA), where participants of the program receive weekly CSA shares containing 4-6 rotating healthy produce items from Long Island farms. Through the Restaurant Resiliency Program initiative, Island Harvest partnered with 29 local restaurants to provide nearly 35,000 nutritious meals to households in need. Additionally, the Healthy Harvest Farm, located on two acres of farmland at the Sisters of St. Joseph’s Campus in Brentwood, serves as a learning model and provides increased access to healthy organic produce for thousands of Long Islanders.
Following a tour of the Island Harvest Food Bank and Food Distribution Center in Melville, Dayna Harap, President of the JFK Air Cargo Association, presented a check to Joseph Barry, Chief Development Officer, and David Sank, Chief Supply Chain Officer, at Island Harvest, as a donation in support of the organization. The JFK Air Cargo Association’s donation of $9,000 is the equivalent of 18,000 meals. Also in attendance were JFK Air Cargo Association Board Members Jim Burnett, Swiss World Cargo (Ret.); Rich Hernandez (Ret.), Amerijet; and Yefri Rodriguez, General Manager, Altia Solutions, Inc.
In awe of what Dayna learned about Island Harvest during the tour, she said, “I was overwhelmed learning about the intricate details of how Island Harvest operates, who received their assistance, and how passionate their employees and volunteers are. I had a completely different interpretation of who received their help. I am happy to know that they cater to our veterans on Long Island, our seniors, and children in school whose families need a little assistance with food. In addition, Island Harvest offers skilled training with classes of about ten people to train them to work in warehouses and grocery stores and how to interview for employment. During this training, Island Harvest helps the candidates with child care and transportation and a stipend to help get them back on their feet. The proceeds from the golf outing we donated will go a very long way, and that is thanks to our members and the companies and individuals who donated and worked the golf outing. Our visit was a true eye-opener to all of us, and I’m very proud of our organization.”