During the COVID-19 health pan- demic, East Islip resident Pat Blair first led a Facebook group that raised tens of thousands of dollars for employees at Southside Hospital. Now, she is the administrator of another donation-based group called The Islips Feed the Islips. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local food banks and food pantries have seen an unprecedented increase in need,” Blair said.
Partnering with the nonprofit Islip Food for Hope, the group’s mission, according to Blair, is threefold: buying food from well-known Long Island- based food distribution companies that will deliver the food to designated food banks and pantries on a rotating basis; dedicate 10 percent of all funds raised to Islip Food For Hope; and 2020 Thanksgiving Breakfast (an event unlikely to be held, but which raises funds to donate hundreds of much-needed baskets of Thanksgiving food to those in need); and hold the group’s own food distribution event later in the summer of 2020.
Created on Tuesday, June 2, the group already has over 500 members and has paired with eight restaurants that were quite involved in The Islips Feed Southside Hospital Employees (Blair’s previous group). These restaurants include Maxwell’s, Southside Restaurant, Post Office Cafe, Gio’s, Vinny’s Mulberry Street, Dang BBQ and Blaze Pizza.
“They are now going to give us designated give-back days,” Blair said. “The restaurants will be donating a portion of their proceeds from that particular day to this group and our purpose.”
Blair directs those who wish to donate to www.IslipFoodForHope.org or mail checks to P.O. Box 371, Islip, NY, 11751.