Robert Galinski (Director of Nutrition SBELIH), Linda Sweeney (VP of Foundation/External Affairs SBELIH), Anne Howard (Co-Director of Food Rescue North Fork), Stephanie McEvily (Co-Director of Food Rescue North Fork), and Holly Cato (Food Rescuer). | Nicole B. Brewer photo for ELIH

Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital is taking great pride in its partnership with the new Food Rescue US North Fork chapter, contributing the hospital’s freshly prepared and packaged unused food each week to support the efforts of local volunteer food rescuers. 

The chapter, recently formed by longtime advocates for fresh, local food, partners with institutions and businesses that have an excess of food and bring that food to organizations that provide nourishment for people in need (Learn more on Instagram at @foodrescuenorthforkny)

Through this collaboration, essential sustenance finds its way to food pantries across the North Fork to combat hunger and waste within the eastern Long Island community.

“Healthy food is hard to sell,” says Robert Galinski, Director of Nutrition at Stony Brook Eastern Long Island Hospital, referring to the daily offerings at the hospital’s Greenhouse Grill, which serves breakfast and lunch daily. “The whole system with Food Rescue US North Fork is seamless. Our staff is passionate about their involvement and look forward each Wednesday afternoon to seeing the rescuers, packing up prepared leftover meals, and passing them along to those in need. That makes me feel good.”

“I met Anne Howard and Stephanie McEvily, Co-Directors of Food Rescue North Fork, and they asked me to help them get their organization up and running in January 2024,” said Linda Sweeney, VP of Foundation/External Affairs at SBELIH.  “I thought, ‘Why not get the hospital to donate the excess prepared foods from lunch that would ordinarily be discarded?’ It took no time at all to get started. Through this and other programs, I’m happy that the hospital can give back to our community in so many ways.”

Operating on a local level, rescuers collaborate with establishments such as restaurants, grocers, and institutions like the hospital to salvage edible food that would otherwise be discarded. This rescued food is then distributed to nearby social service agencies, addressing immediate needs while also curbing the alarming rate of food waste.

By intercepting food before it reaches landfills, Food Rescue US hopes to significantly reduce harmful emissions associated with decomposing waste.

Food Rescue US stands at the forefront of the battle against hunger and food waste across America, spearheading initiatives that unite communities through the efforts of committed volunteer food rescuers.

“These individuals work tirelessly to bridge the gap between surplus food and those facing food insecurity, ensuring fresh and nutritious meals reach millions of families in need,” according to the hospital.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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