On Monday, July 31, Senator Rhoads hosted the inaugural Senate Farm Day of Action where he invited his fellow Long Island Senators to join him and Island Harvest in planting seeds, harvesting crops, and packing fresh produce at Island Harvest’s Healthy Harvest Farm in Brentwood. Island Harvest is one of Long Island’s leading hunger relief organizations and their farm helps them deliver on their mission to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island. At the farm, senators, their staff, and volunteers were able to gain first-hand experience from Long Island farmers about all the work that goes into operating a fresh food bank garden. The group planted string beans and squash and harvested swiss chard and fennel to be sent to local food banks. The Senate Farm Day of Action highlighted the importance of local food banks and the valuable services that they provide for people in need. Studies show that 272,000 Long Islanders experience hunger and food insecurity - that is one in every nine Long Islanders. In addition, 89,000 of Long Islanders that are food insecure are children. Hunger and access to healthy foods is a major issue on Long Island. With Senator Rhoads’ leadership in spearheading events like the Senate Farm Day of Action, it reminds Long Islanders of the rich agricultural history of Long Island, creates more awareness about hunger relief organizations on Long Island, and supports their efforts to help combat food insecurity.
State Senator Steve Rhoads (District 5) said, “It was an honor to spearhead the inaugural New York State Senate Farm Day of Action on Long Island. It truly was a fun, educational, and rewarding experience for everyone involved. I was happy to roll up my sleeves with Senator Dean Murray and my interns to play an active role in fighting hunger on Long Island. Special thank you to Randi Shubin Dresner and her unbelievably welcoming Island Harvest team for helping us plant seeds, harvest crops, and learn about sustainable farming practices. Island Harvest does an incredible job educating our community about healthy eating habits as well as providing fresh produce to local families in need on Long Island. Our Senate Farm Day of Action was a great success and a hands-on way to get involved in the local community and help make a difference.
“It was an absolute pleasure to join my colleague, NYS Senator Steve Rhoads, members of his staff and Randi Shubin Dresner and her team from Island Harvest, as we did some planting and harvesting of food that will be shared with those in need all across Long Island. Island Harvest does a tremendous job of making sure they are providing families with healthy food as well as teaching them the importance of eating healthy and nutritious meals. The part about this experience is that it doesn’t get any healthier than growing your own food,” said State Senator Dean Murray (District 3).
“We are grateful to Senator Rhoads for his efforts in helping bring to light the importance of providing fresh produce and the nutritional value it brings to people who are food insecure,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “Along with Senator Murray, they helped plant squash and harvested tomatoes, Swiss chard, and fennel, and we are grateful for their continue support, working together to find creative solutions to the ongoing and chronic issue of hunger on Long Island and across New York state.”