Food drive helps restock Long Island nonprofit devastated by fire

One by one, cars drove up and dropped off nonperishables for NOSH, a program of the North Shore Soup Kitchen. The nonprofit food delivery service was launched by a group of concerned North Shore community members at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We served about 600 families weekly," NOSH chairwoman Christine Rice said.

A summer fire at the VFW Post where NOSH housed its inventory of thousands of pounds of food left volunteers scrambling to find ways to continue feeding families.

"We decided we'd do the drive-by and help to give back to the community," said Mary Sudell of Emerge Nursing and Rehabilitation.

The food will be brought inside the gym at St. Hyacinth Church, which is NOSH's temporary space until at least the end of the month. Volunteers hope to find a permanent home for the holidays that's more convenient for people who don't have cars.

"We have a lot of donations but there are still many many families who need food," Rice said. 

The need for food on Long Island is greater than ever before, according to officials with Island Harvest Food Bank who predict the demand for supplemental food support will continue for at least the next two years as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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Long Island Cares estimates some 285,000 neighbors in Nassau County and Suffolk County are having difficulty putting food on their tables.

"This year, we're on track to deliver about 12 million pounds of nutritious food," Long Island Cares CEO Paule Pachter said.

As for Thursday's food drive, many people came out to do their part.

"This is Glen Cove at its very best — coming together to make sure people are taken care of," NOSH's Gaitley Stevenson-Mathews said.