New York Islanders' goaltender, Rick DiPietro, the 2007 chairman of Island Harvest's Coin Harvest Campaign, is urging all Long Island schoolchildren to participate in the fundraising effort to raise money to help Island Harvest end hunger and eliminate food waste on Long Island. The campaign, which incorporates a hunger awareness curriculum, helps students learn about the problem of hunger while teaching them about becoming involved in their communities.
Islander goalie Rick Di Pietro.
"Working with my friends at Island Harvest, I'm asking children across Long Island to get involved in this crucial campaign to fight hunger," said DiPietro. "Hunger knows no bounds, so my appeal is not just to our beloved young Islander fans. It is for everyone to join me in making a difference."
The campaign, open to all public and private schools on Long Island, runs between February and May. Schools select a two-week period to participate in the Coin Harvest Campaign, where students are asked to fill brown paper bags with loose change donated by family and friends. The brown bags symbolize a traditional school lunch and the many families on Long Island that are unable to provide nutritious meals for their children. All coins are donated directly to Island Harvest. In addition to posters, fliers and five-gallon collection drums, Island Harvest provides schools with educational materials that are incorporated into a hunger awareness curriculum.
"Coin Harvest teaches students about the problem of hunger in their community and instills a sense of giving that will hopefully follow them through their lives," said Randi Shubin Dresner, president and CEO of Island Harvest. "It takes about 22 cents for Island Harvest to rescue and deliver one pound of food to those in need. When students see how their small change translates into meals for hungry children and adults across Long Island, they begin to understand the scope of how their actions positively affect their community."
At the end of the campaign, Island Harvest tallies the donations and rewards the top three schools with the largest contribution. Over 85 schools participated in the campaign last year, and with the generous support of Grand Sponsor, Arrow Electronics, the campaign raised in excess of $80,000 of which 100 percent of the proceeds supported Island Harvest food rescue programs that service over 500 community-based, non-profit member agencies.
"The lesson Coin Harvest teaches is not only about the problem of hunger, but it enables students to see just how small change can make a big change in other people's lives," Shubin Dresner concluded.
Schools wishing to participate in this year's Coin Harvest are encouraged to contact Naisha Vinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 294-8528.