Community Solidarity Continues to Grow
St. John’s Outreach continues to foster and grow our relationship with Community Solidarity. Community Solidarity is a nonprofit Food Share that is working to help and eliminate hunger, poverty, and homelessness locally here on Long Island. The organized Food Share has a goal of ending hunger by providing nutritious food, rescuing food from waste, and building a sense of community.
The founder, John Stepanian, along with hundreds of volunteers, has organized nightly, plant-based, food distributions at different locations of Long Island each night of the week. Community Solidarity was started and continues to run based on the philosophy that “food is a right for all humans” and operates under the mission to “build a better world” through compassion, emphasizing that “we are all equal.” Nightly distribution comes from deliveries of excess food from local grocery stores. Volunteers help each night to pack boxes up to 50lbs for those persons in need. Lines of cars and pedestrians wait for hours to receive these boxes. Community Solidarity welcomes any donations of clothing, jackets, toys, and books as well.
At Christmas time, there were multiple tables of toys set up for families to take for their children. Anyone in need of any of these things is always welcome at the Food Share Distributions, whether an individual or a large family. Many St. John Parishioners of all ages have volunteered and continue to do so because of the remarkable impact of the experience. Even though Community Solidarity operates fully outside, despite the weather, volunteers are eager to help and once there, it is hard to leave!
Community Solidarity has made a lasting impression on everyone who has volunteered, even children as young as 5 years old! One family who volunteered before Thanksgiving, continues to go back because of the wonderful feeling it brings to know that they are making an impact for so many, and so close to home.
Initially they planned to stay for only an hour, but didn’t want to leave until the boxes were all distributed. The cold temperatures and heavy lifting didn’t bother them in the least! Each of the children made comments about how much they enjoyed the opportunity and continue to ask to go on Tuesdays. They were even invited to join a parking lot soccer game with children of the community after volunteering!
One parishioner, Libby O'Connell, writes this of her experience,
“I am writing to thank you and St. John’s for working with Community Solidarity, giving parishioners the opportunity to live our faith (no matter how wavering) through service. Last night I went to Huntington Station to help pack boxes full of nutritious, good quality fresh food for distribution to local inhabitants. All I could see of my fellow volunteers was sparkling eyes surrounded by hats, hoods, and face masks… Thank you to St John’s and our Outreach Committee for creating this volunteer opportunity, a community connection that really makes a difference in our township.”
Recently, CBS visited the Huntington Station Community Solidarity and featured them on the news. Please enjoy this segment…you may even recognize a few of the volunteers!
To learn more about Community Solidarity and all of the wonderful things they do, please explore their website at https://www.communitysolidarity.org/
St. John’s Outreach has organized another night of volunteering at Community Solidarity on Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 7 pm. We hope you will join us for this very rewarding opportunity.
Jon will be our guest in our Lenten Series on March 15, 2023.