Islip Rotary teams with St. Mark’s on monthly food drop; next is Nov. 7


The next monthly drive-by food drop outside St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Islip happens Saturday, Nov. 7, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The ongoing efforts, which started in July, have attracted the help of Islip Rotary Club, it was announced this week. The two entities are now joining forces as they seek to expand the drive with added manpower.

“We’re delighted to join forces with Islip Rotary,” said the Rev. Richard E. Simpson, the church’s pastor. “This was one of the original service clubs in the U.S., and all efforts are driven by the local clubs.”

Run entirely by volunteers, the next “Day of Helping Hands” sets up outside the church at 754 Montauk Highway once a month. Drop-off tables can be found at the church doors, which face St. Mark’s Lane.

This is a nonsectarian event, church leaders are quick to point out.

“You do not need to be Episcopalian or live in Islip to participate,” Father Simpson said. “The most important thing is to collect many food donations.”

The food is then sent to God’s Provisions, Inc., an organization that works with Long Island Cares. The organizations distribute food to pantries throughout the South Shore.

The food drive is collecting non-perishable items, such as pasta, rice, beans, peanut butter, jelly, cereal, mac and cheese, juice boxes, crackers, cookies, salt, pepper, cake/brownie mixes, canned tuna and chicken, stuffing mix, soup, canned gravy, tomato sauce, condensed milk, pudding (boxed, not prepared) jello, apple sauce, canned vegetables and fruit, kid-friendly treats, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, toiletries, pet food, baby products, and more. Basically, nothing that can spoil.

Dana Jahn, who runs God’s Provisions, has previously said without the efforts of the community, the organization would be extremely limited in its distribution.

“And it’s the families who are suffering,” she said.

It was one St. Mark’s parishioner in July who asked the church to organize the monthly drive, provided it was held outside due to the pandemic.

They’ve been doing it every month since.

Those looking to donate do not have to exit their cars if they do not feel comfortable, the drive organizers said. Volunteers will fetch the donations.

Masks and social distancing are a requirement for all participants. Anyone looking to volunteer can call St. Mark’s at 631-581-4950. Ask for Irene.

Photo: A Ford Club Van packed with food from a prior drop. (courtesy)