Food banks need more donations as costs rise

Whether you're on the giving end or receiving, the need for food, according to many nonprofit organizations across Long Island, is greater than ever before.

Pastor Jim Ryan of the Lighthouse Mission said the rising cost of food and fuel is leaving people with difficult decisions to make.

"These are regular moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, just trying to get from week to week," he said. "Whether to put fuel in the oil tank to stay warm, gas in their tank to get to work or buy food for their family."

And as the need continues to increase, donations themselves are going down. 

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Island Harvest Food Bank president and CEO Randi Shubin Dresner called it an unprecedented time.

"If the fuel prices go up that means costs of food because of trucking food in by distributors and wholesalers," she said.

Ever since the pandemic, food banks on Long Island assist well over half a million families a year. This number is expected to go up in the next few months.

Bishop Edward Robinson of Long Island Breakthrough Chapel said he knows firsthand what being hungry is like.

"Feeding people has been a passion of mine because I know what it is to not have," he said.

As he hands out warm food each week, he offers advice for brighter days.

"Hope — don't give up hope," Robinson said.