Volunteers sort through bags of non-perishable food donated by the Grand Island community to the Neighbors Foundation as part of Stamp Out Hunger.
Sat, May 21, 2022 7:00 AM
Story and photo by Alice Gerard
At the annual Mail Carrier Hunger Food Drive, held on Saturday, David Conboy of the Grand Island Neighbors Foundation announced that the organization is unveiling its new logo.
“One of the things that’s different is that after 50 years with our original logo which was developed by those who founded the organization, we’ve updated the logo,” he said. . “What we’ve tried to do is update it, freshen it up and make it more inclusive. The old logo was great, but it looked like two businessmen shaking hands. We tried to make it more inclusive in terms of size and shape and how the hands were represented.
“It can be any nationality, male or female, because we are neighbors helping each other, and it comes in different colors, shapes and sizes. We hope it will guide us through the next 50 years and serve us well. The theme we put on our logo is neighbors helping each other. That’s the whole story. At any time, each of us can find ourselves on one side of this equation of being someone helping a neighbor, or even in need at some point, so we recognize that we all stick together .
“This is the 30th annual event,” he added. “The last two years have been interrupted because of COVID, so everyone is excited to start. Chris Amato from the post office was great in terms of coordinating and organizing things. I can’t say enough about everyone. Postmen, for what they do on a daily basis. But, certainly today, bringing the food to the pantry.
Conboy said the need for food has changed over the past few years: “We’ve seen an increase in need, as people struggle with the economy and jobs and the whole COVID situation. We have certainly seen an increase in requests for food. Fortunately, we have also seen an increase in generosity from neighbors on Grand Island, especially with financial donations.
On May 14, a group of volunteers from several organizations, including Grand Island High School, the Kiwanis Club and the Post Office, went to the basement of the old St. Stephen’s Church, which houses the warden. -eat from the Neighbors Foundation, to sort and organize donations.
“It’s a big event. We have volunteers from the school, from the Kiwanis club, from our organization, so it’s a great opportunity for us to restock our shelves that were empty. to the next collection,” Conboy said.
Three of the volunteers were seniors from Grand Island High School who were doing volunteer hours required by the school. Michael Greer, a member of the Grand Island High School varsity hockey team, explained, “We sorted the cans by year and put them in the pantry. We sorted out expired goods. It’s just a good way to help the community.
Joe Geyer, also a member of the school’s varsity hockey team, said he felt good organizing the food: “It’s a great cause for the kids.
Ethan Lysarz, a snowboarder, added: “We are organizing canned food and other non-perishable items to help the community. It means something.
Steve Kopf, president of the Kiwanis Club of Grand Island, spoke about the club’s participation in the food drive.
“It’s good. I’m glad we’re able to help,” he said. “Coming together to help families in need and working with the Neighbors Foundation is going to be a good partnership that we have. It’s a really great event for everyone to come together on Grand Island, participate and donate to those in need.
Kopf added that the Kiwanis Club of Grand Island is always looking for new members.
“We have a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/gikiwanis),” he said. “We also post things on the Isledegrande website. We will also post our meeting times there. My contact information is up there so they can reach me.
The Grand Island Post Office Supervisor, who identified himself as Jeff, said: ‘We’re going around right now, collecting what we can that’s currently out, and whatever our carriers out there right now can bring back here and help the people of Grand Island. It’s giving back. We are there every day. We see a lot of the community. Sometimes you don’t see how everyone is. There is a real need throughout the community to help out and give back a little, so to be able to provide that – even if only today – is huge. It helps a ton.
“For the past two years, COVID has put a damper on (the Stamp Out Hunger food drive). It’s good to be back and finally doing this again. I know many of our letter carriers were very excited to get out there and start helping with the collection today.
“I just want to thank all of our carriers and all of the volunteers here who are helping with this. It’s great to see this come to fruition every year, and I’d like it to continue without any interruptions. I just want to thank everyone who does the hard work.
Part of the hard work is sorting through donated food and removing any expired food.
When asked what happens to expired food, Conboy said: ‘Expired food is sent to another pantry off the island that is able to accept expired food. We want to make sure that we sort the food and that what we offer here is not expired and is healthy.
Conboy also asked to express his gratitude to the community of St. Stephen for hosting the Neighbors Foundation.
“St. Stephen has been wonderful,” he said. “They’ve done various food drives to collect food, and they give us space in the basement of the old church, we so we are very grateful to the community of St. Stephen’s, all the churches and organizations on the island step in and help the Neighbors Foundation, so we appreciate that they focus on us when they donate food and money and we just ask people to continue to do so and keep in mind that every dollar donated to the Neighbors Foundation goes directly to helping our neighbors None of the board members are paid or remunerated in any way We are all volunteers and are always looking for more people to help us and ensure the future of the Neighbors Foundation.