Town of Oyster Bay Councilwoman Vicki Walsh teamed up with Contour Mortgage to provide personal-care items to veterans. Every Tuesday is Military Appreciation Tuesday at all of Long Island Cares’ six satellite locations. Only veterans are permitted to obtain food (pet food too), personal-care items and household products on Tuesdays. Long Island Cares is the only Long Island food bank that operates satellite locations dedicated to food distribution, job training, nutrition education and advocacy to help identify the causes and cures for food insecurity. According to Walsh, this will become a twice-monthly event.
“This is a great opportunity for me to see what I can do for our veterans,” she said. “It’s all about community, and this is a great way to bring community together. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.”
Walsh and Brian Halloran of Contour Mortgage handed out bags of personal-care items to about a dozen veterans who are weekly regulars at Long Island Cares’ Harry Chapin Food Bank Essential Market. Veterans also picked up their weekly allotment of food, which is a three-day supply for regulars, and a five-day supply for first-timers.
“We like to give back to the community,” Halloran said. “We do lots of work with veterans. We want to do whatever we can to support them.”
“Councilwoman Walsh is a champion for all that she serves,’ Long Island Cares Chief Programmer, Dr. Jessica Rosati said. “Introducing Contour Mortgage to support Long Island Cares’ Veterans programs has been a true benefit to the many families frequenting the Essential Market. We are grateful for the support, and excited for the potential this new relationship will evolve into.”
Veteran Lou Sarrica of Plainview served in the U.S. Army,and is a regular at the Essential Market.
“It’s unbelievable here,” Sarrica said. “I like that they’re charitable at the time we need it most. To have something like this is heartwarming, that we’re being taken care of. It means a lot because I don’t have any income.”
Veteran Reggie Taylor of Roosevelt served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and is also a regular at the Essential Market.
“This helps make ends meet,” Taylor explained. “Because of Long Island Cares I can make a couple of ends meet where I couldn’t before.”
Also, at all Long Island Cares’ six satellite locations is a program called VetsWork, dedicated to helping veterans enter or re-enter the workforce. They are counseled on all aspects of a job search, from creating a résumé and improving interview skills to securing a job.