Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and the Town Board have approved a $1 million grant to support the Interfaith Nutrition Network (The INN) in a continuing effort to help the community recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding, which was made possible through the federal CARES Act, will enable The INN to implement COVID-19 safety measures and assist the members of the community facing hunger and homelessness by serving daily meals.
“We continue to thank Senator Schumer for his work to secure this funding as it has enabled us to support so many of the most impacted portions of our community,” said Town of Hempstead Supervisor Don Clavin. “The support approved by the Town Board today will allow The INN to continue providing its crucial services at a time when more and more of our residents seek help. We are appreciative for this collaboration and the fine work they perform in our community each and every day.”
“The INN has been serving the Town of Hempstead’s most vulnerable population for more than 35 years, and we are proud to collaborate with them during this difficult time,” said Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby.
“We are confident that this $1 million will goa long way toward helping the many residents who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Councilman Bruce Blakeman.
“Many residents have lost their jobs and income during the pandemic, and services provided by The INN are essential to helping them endure these challenging times,” said Councilman Anthony D’Esposito.
“This emergency funding will help keep the wheels turning at The INN to help them provide needed programs for the residents of America’s largest township,” said Councilman Dennis Dunne, Sr.
“The COVID-19 pandemic had a profound impact on the lives of so many town residents, and we are grateful to The INN for being on the front lines of helping those in need,” said Councilman Tom Muscarella.
“I am proud to partner with Supervisor Don Clavin and my colleagues on the Hempstead Town Board to provide $1 million to support the efforts of the Interfaith Nutrition Network,” said Councilman Chris Carini.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required for all INN staff and volunteers so they can provide workers with a safe environment to continue delivering essential services through the pandemic. Since the pandemic started, The INN has been going through more than 1,800 masks, 615 pairs of gloves and140 bottles of hand sanitizer every week to ensure safety for both employees and those who seek assistance at The INN’s facilities.
“Through this crisis, the safety and well-being of guests of The INN, as well as the staff and volunteers who serve them is our first priority,” said Jean Kelly, Executive Director of The INN. The Covid-19 pandemic is certainly the first of its kind in our lifetime, and we will be seeing the toll it will take on so many people who depend on The INN for basic survival needs for months and years to come. The incredibly generous funds from the Town of Hempstead and the Federal CARES Act will make this task much easier for our organization by allowing us to have the funds to purchase the food needed to meet the growing demand. This exceptional grant will also provide the necessary PPE to keep us all as safe as possible and will ensure we can continue to serve with the dignity, respect and love we have been offering Long Islanders for nearly four decades. We are truly grateful for this incredible act of generosity and support.”
A cornerstone of The INN’s operations is the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen (MBI), located in Hempstead. After providing more than 100,000 meals last year, The INN estimates serving more than 200,000 balanced meals and more than 5,500pantry bags by the end of this year as a result of the pandemic. Other services come from its Center for Transformative Change (CTC). These services include housing assistance, employment readiness, healthcare (physical and mental) services, and education support. The INN serves the community and lives their day-to-day as a community itself, which is why they focus on establishing partnerships with institutions such as the Nassau University Medical Center to educate people about cancer, screening services, medical appointments, and the Nassau County Human Rights Commission's Job Placement Program to help those with criminal record or gaps in their work histories find employment.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Town of Hempstead has been collaborating with organizations to aid in the collective effort to rebuild both the economy and the community. Including this most recent approval of a grant for The INN, the Town of Hempstead has contributed more than $31 million in grants to help support varying entities providing key services to the most impacted residents.
The mission of The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) is to address the issues of hunger and homelessness on Long Island by providing food, shelter, long-term housing and supportive services in a dignified and respectful manner for those who seek the organization’s help.
Founded in 1983 as a single soup kitchen run by a small group of concerned volunteers, The INN, a not-for-profit, volunteer-based organization, has grown to deliver its services through 14 soup kitchens in 21locations, three homeless shelters, and a Long Term Housing Program consisting of 20 housing units for families and housing for up to seven veterans. Today, more than 5,500 people are fed each week. In January, 2016, The INN launched anew initiative, the Center for Transformative Change (CTC), a resource center and clothing boutique with the mission of assisting guests of the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen in obtaining assistance with extended supportive services.
A dedicated staff, committed volunteers and broad-based community support help The INN maintain its position as one of Long Island’s largest private social service agencies; The INN is ranked among the most cost-effective charities in the United States. For more information, please visit www.the-inn.org or call (516) 486-8506.