They say it takes a village, and as spring begins to bloom in Brentwood, this Long Island community reminds us that a little bit can go a long way: Thanks to a collaboration between Lessing’s Hospitality Group and Island Harvest Food Bank, a 1.8-acre parcel on the property of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood is now home to a Giving Garden.
Part of an on-going initiative created by Island Harvest, the Giving Gardens program consists of more than 40 gardens across Nassau and Suffolk counties that produce fresh fruits and vegetables to provide supplemental food support to nearly 300,000 Long Islanders identified as food insecure. In 2018, the food bank collected and distributed approximately 490,000 pounds of produce as part of the program, which is staffed primarily by volunteers and overseen by Island Harvest Food Bank’s in-house, certified organic gardener.
With the addition of the Brentwood Giving Garden, and through the ongoing support and collaboration with Lessings Hospitality Group, Island Harvest continues to strive to grow those numbers and bring even more locally grown goods to Long Islanders in need.
“Hospitality and giving back go hand in hand. Whether it be supporting a local cause close to our hearts or to our employees, cleaning the beaches, or helping those in need, it is what gives us a purpose,” says Mark Lessing, Vice President of Lessing’s.
Lessing’s Marketing Director, Jennifer Cantin, adds, “As a company, Lessing’s Hospitality Group has committed to doing our part to effect change, and do good. We believe if we all take steps, small or big, together we can make monumental changes.”
The Lessing’s team spent the afternoon of April 9th in the fields preparing the garden and planting onions, potatoes, swiss chard, rutabagas and radishes for this year’s crop. This day also marked the launch of Lessing’s social media campaign seeking donations to Island Harvest Food Bank. Supporters were encouraged to donate to Island Harvest Food Bank through the social media fundraiser “Lessing’s in Partnership with Island Harvest Food Bank” found on the Lessing’s Hospitality Facebook page.
The campaign culminates on Earth Day, April 22nd, 2019 when Lessing’s Hospitality Group will match 100% of the donations made on Earth Day to Island Harvest Food Bank (up to $5,000).
“We’re grateful for Lessing’s Hospitality Group’s caring and generosity and pitching in at our Giving Garden in Brentwood,” says Randi Shubin Dresner, President & CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank. “Valued partnerships, like the one we enjoy with Lessing’s, is helping us address the chronic problem of hunger and food insecurity in our communities by providing people in need with healthy food options such as nutritious, locally grown produce.”