Verizon Foundation Awards $10,000 Grant to Sustainable Long Island for Food Equity Work

♦ Sustainable Long Island has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation for its ongoing work to address the issue of food equity across Long Island. With this new stream of funding, Sustainable Long Island has been able to continue to focus on identifying solutions for communities which lack access to fresh, affordable food.

“The need to address the issue of food security on Long Island has become increasingly urgent given the current economic climate,” said Sarah Lansdale, Executive Director of Sustainable Long Island. “With the Verizon Foundation’s assistance, we are able to maintain the success we have accomplished with the creation of youth-run farmers’ markets in low-income communities.”

Earlier this year Sustainable Long Island teamed up with local community partners and the Long Island Farm Bureau to launch two youth-run markets in North Bellport and Roosevelt. Through this project, high school students from each community had the opportunity to run the markets, under the supervision of a market manger, while learning small business and customer service skills. Sustainable Long Island has used this additional funding from the Verizon Foundation to expand the educational opportunities at the market for youth, using the lesson plans at to train the 10 teen staffers on nutrition, agriculture, and health.

“There’s nothing more important than helping our young people get started in the right direction,” said Patrick Lespinasse, Verizon Director of Government and External Affairs.  “Sustainable Long Island’s unique educational and community-minded program helps to build strong skills within our children, while making sure that our needy neighbors on the Island have avenues for food supplies. It’s a great partnership.”

The students have developed and executed peer-to-peer nutritional activities and a nutritional survey at the market this year. This project has equipped young people with planning tools, educational nutrition information and sample activities, and knowledge to continue to make a positive impact in their communities.

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