Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin, along with the entire Hempstead Town Board, authorized a $305,040 relief grant to The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) for the reimbursement, purchase, and distribution of food items and prepared hot healthy meals (soups, meat/protein with starch and vegetables) for individuals and families who are hungry and unemployed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clavin made the announcement along with senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Bruce Blakeman, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr., Councilman Tom Muscarella, Councilman Chris Carini, Town Clerk Kate Murray, Receiver of Taxes Jeanine Driscoll, and The INN’s Chief Executive Officer Jean Kelly.
Between March 2020 and March 2021, the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen served a total of 239,599 nutritious meals to nearly 56,431 guests and 15,898 pantry bags of groceries were given out to families.
This grant has been made possible through the federal CARES Act funding provided to the Town of Hempstead last year. Millions of dollars in CARES funding was allocated by the Town of Hempstead to provide economic aid to local organizations, nonprofits, and individuals impacted by the pandemic, including a previous one million dollar grant to The INN last year to cover unbudgeted expenses incurred by the pandemic such as personal protection equipment including masks, gloves, and sanitizers to the staff, volunteers, and those who seek assistance safe.
“Thank you, Senator Schumer for securing the extension of the CARES Act funding that made initiatives like this one possible as the pandemic continued into 2021,” said Supervisor Clavin. “It is our pleasure to partner once again with The INN, an organization that continues to work non-stop to meet the increase in demands of families in need. It is critical to provide families and individuals with meals as well as the peace of mind of not having to think about when the next one is going to be.”
Every day, The INN receives hundreds of guests. Staff, volunteers, LVM Events, and Diane’s Desserts work together to prepare nutritious meals in volume. With the CARES Act grant, The INN will be able to purchase additional meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even though the organization will be closed during the holidays, they will give out holiday meals before and send each guest home with a frozen meal to heat up those days.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of guests who need our services in the community,” said Jean Kelly, chief executive officer of The INN. “Thank you to Supervisor Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board for their overwhelming support in providing a critical service to families and individuals affected by COVID-19. We have seen the extent and severity of how this pandemic has affected the guests we serve every day, but this grant is helping us combat those effects.”