For Immediate Release Media Contacts: Collin Nash, Sid Nathan, and Jason Elan
Town of North Hempstead Unveils Program to Feed Hungry at Weber Elementary School
October 13, 2011 (516) 869-7794
Port Washington, NY— Port Washington, NY--As North Hempstead’s groundbreaking School Recycling Partnership Program continues to enjoy unprecedented success in nearly all of the Town’s 11 school districts, Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Town Councilman Fred Pollock in partnership with Rock and Wrap It Up! Inc., the NY Giants and NY Mets, last week unveiled the latest component of the award-winning program.
Dubbed the “Food to Feed” Snack Wrap Program, the new element of the School Recycling Partnership Program is the Town’s response to increasing numbers of children, seniors and working-poor individuals who cannot make ends meet and go hungry due to the prolonged economic downturn.
The Food to Feed program was launched last Thursday in the cafeteria of Weber Elementary School in Port Washington as an estimated 200 middle school students enjoyed lunch. The late morning event was also attended by Legislators Judi Bosworth and Wayne Wink, Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman, administrators from Weber Elementary, as well as representatives of the NY Giants and the NY Mets. The baseball team’s mascot, Mr. Met, also graced the late morning event with his presence.
“The School Recycling Partnership Program teaches students the importance of taking responsibility for the environment,” Supervisor Kaiman noted. “And beyond the benefits of environmental conservation, the basic program with all its various components hopefully will send a message that when we all work together with a common purpose, we can effect significant change. In this case that translates into helping feed the hungry.”
Now in its fourth year, the School Recycling Partnership Program—a collaborative effort with nine school districts throughout the Town and more than 30,000 students—has collected an estimated 25 tons of paper and six tons of co-mingled recyclables a month since 2008. Since then, the program has been expanded a number of times promoting town-wide the concept of reducing, reusing and recycling. Up until now, the School Recycling Partnership Program has been broadened to include e-waste recycling, composting and an award winning pharmaceutical take-back program.
The collaborative Food to Feed campaign involves placing receptacles in each of the nine school districts participating in North Hempstead’s School Recycling Partnership Program, giving students the opportunity to donate healthful, unopened, unwanted, non-perishable snacks either from the cafeteria or brought from home. The school districts will then collect the donations and pass them on to a local agency, which ultimately will give the food to the needy in each school district.
Rock and Wrap it Up, Inc., works with partners across the country to develop greening solutions that address the issues of hunger and poverty in America. Its roots are in rock music, hence the name Rock and Wrap it Up The group started by recovering food that was prepared, but not served from venues like Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre. The organization eventually started working directly with bands to ensure that surplus food would be donated instead of being thrown out.
Snacks collected for Rock and Wrap it Up under the auspices of the School Recycling Partnership Program will be distributed to after school programs, local community centers, shelters, pantries, or soup kitchens throughout the Town. These donations will give agencies fighting poverty the ability to increase their operating budgets and provide services such as tutors, social workers, job placement counselors and mental health counselors to attack the root cause of poverty, officials said.
Plans are to implement the program in schools through the placement in each participating school cafeteria of new receptacles generously donated by the New York Mets and the New York Giants.
Noting that Weber Elementary got involved with the Rock and Wrap it Up organization more than five years ago, Superintendent Geoffrey Gordon said blending the Food to Feed program into the Town’s Comprehensive School Recycling program was a logical step to growing the school’s existing program. “I am counting on you to continue doing your part and make this even more successful,” he told the students.
Councilman Pollock said “Extending the concept of recycling to include feeding the needy makes it a truly extraordinary cause. I applaud everyone involved.”
Syd Mandelbaum, the CEO and founder of Rock and Wrap it Up, Inc, a global think tank, told attendees, “the more food you donate the more funds agencies that advocate for the needy will have to help deal with the root cause of hunger in this country.”
Allison Stangeby, Director of Community Relations, said "The New York Football Giants are proud to team up with the Town of North Hempstead and Rock and Wrap it Up! as they help to find viable solutions to feed the hungry. Through the Snack Wrap program, not only are students learning the importance of giving back to those less fortunate but they are doing it in an environmentally friendly way,” she said. “The Giants are thrilled to assist North Hempstead as they tackle their 'Food to Feed' initiative."