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Library Garden Supports Food Pantry

This summer, local teen volunteers tended the Bea Shacknow Memorial Garden in the fifth year of the very successful program. The vegetable and herb garden, located at the back of the Plainview Old-Bethpage Public Library is a memorial to Bea Shacknow, a beloved member of the Family Center staff. The produce grown was all donated to the food pantry at Our Lady of Mercy in Hicksville.


Young adults from the middle school and high school watered, tended, weeded, pruned and picked a wide variety of produce, all cultivated from seeds. This year’s participants were particularly dedicated and diligent in their efforts. For their time, the students received community service credits, useful to fulfill school requirements as well as for their resumes for college.


Among the crops harvested this summer were tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, radishes, peppers and basil.  


“The plants selected were those offering a high yield,” said Nancy Cronan, one of the library’s staff members facilitating the project, adding purple bush beans, fingerling eggplants, heirloom tomatoes and both Kirby and American cucumbers satisfied this feature.


This year, the library’s volunteer program was coordinated with a neighborhood food pantry. On a more local level than in the past, the Our Lady of Mercy Food Pantry serves the same community as the Plainview Old-Bethpage Public

Library. In fact, patrons of the library also donated vegetables from their own gardens to help their neighbors.


The teens worked on the garden twice a week throughout the summer. Some of the plants began growing immediately and by June the radishes were the first crop ready to be harvested. As soon as the vegetables were ripe enough to be picked, library staff brought them right over to the church.


“We are very grateful for the service of the teens who volunteered, as well as the librarians who coordinated the project, which resulted in such a large volume of fresh produce which we have been able to distribute to our families serviced by the food pantry,” said Mary Anne Scott, director of parish service at Our Lady of Mercy.


She went on to say that the fresh vegetables and herbs offered this summer, particularly the string beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and radishes were a most welcome supplement to the packaged and shelf-stable items distributed by the food pantry. In the last few years, there has been an unprecedented increase of clients served by the food pantry and it is a wonderful bonus to be able to offer those in need a healthy food option thanks to this library program.


The food pantry at Our Lady of Mercy is interfaith and serves all of Plainview; and parts of Hicksville, Bethpage and Syosset. Scott added that no other food pantry serves all of Plainview and it clearly fills a need in our community.


The Our Lady of Mercy Food Pantry is located at 500 South Oyster Bay Road in Hicksville. Food distribution is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., and Wednesdays and Fridays 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The food pantry can be reached at 516-931-1306. First time clients of the food pantry will be asked to participate in an intake interview. In addition to food distribution, the pantry can help with referrals for additional help and support as needed.


Due to what appears to be a colossal error on the part of the Nassau County Assessor’s office, military veterans and Gold Star families will have to wait for their tax break until next year.

Plainview is one of several local school districts that recently approved resolutions extending an exemption to local veterans, even though budgets and Albany’s tax cap make it a tough choice. Last month, despite concerns about lack of confidence in the validity of eligibility information provided by the county assessor’s office, the Plainview trustees voted to provide a school tax exemption for veterans living in the Plainview-Old Bethpage School District, starting with the 2014-2015 school year.

The Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School business teams placed second and third in the Nassau County’s annual Comptroller’s Entrepreneurial Challenge. They competed against two hundred business students from high schools across Nassau County for scholarships and cash awards from various sponsors.  

On April 9, at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building, student teams had 10 minutes to convince a panel of expert judges that their plan for a business in the Plaza of the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum is feasible and would be successful.


Matzah Balls

Thursday, April 17

Craft Fair

Saturday, April 19


Friday, April 18


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