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Islanders Fight Hunger with Island Harvest and Stop & Shop

Islanders and Stop & Shop teamed up to donate $9,900 to Island Harvest through Community Assist Program and volunteered to pack meal kits at local food bank

by Kelsey Barrett @NYIslanders / NewYorkIslanders.com

New York Islanders fans are used to seeing Steve Webb dish out body checks on the ice, but on Friday, the Islanders former tough guy was crafting a new expertise. Webb, standing in an assembly line with other Islanders staff, spent his Friday morning volunteering at Island Harvest, boxing up food for senior citizens.

Islanders staffers, as well as Stop & Shop employees, were volunteering at Island Harvest, the Long Island food bank that has worked tirelessly to provide food to community members in need, a number that has grown since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Prior to the pandemic, we helped about 300,000 families each year struggling with food insecurity, and through the pandemic that literally doubled to 600,000 families," said Randi Shubin Dresner, the CEO of Island Harvest. 

Shubin Dresner explained that the $9,900 being donated by Stop & Shop, in partnership with the Islanders, will help create 18,000 meals. She credited the Islanders for amplifying Island Harvest's mission in the community, and stated that the fan's loyalty to the team, as well as excitement to get involved with the cause, made a positive impact in terms of donations. Shubin Dresner also expressed her thankfulness to the Islanders and Stop & Shop, saying she was impressed that staff showed up and put in some work on Friday morning.

"Packing the boxes is the biggest tackle for us," she said. "The team is in here, New York Islanders staff, helping us to pack the boxes so we can get it ready and get it out into the community, so senior citizens can have the things they need."

Like Shubin Dresner, Webb commended both the Islanders and Stop & Shop for volunteering their time and giving back to the community.

"It's a leadership role to be out in the community and showcasing that we're not just talking the talk, we're actually walking the walk," Webb said. "I think having everybody here on-site, shows how our commitments are true and people are going to follow their lead."

Your average Islanders staff weren't the only ones helping out at Island Harvest on Friday morning. Sparky the Dragon made an appearance too, helping with both the sorting operation and assembly line. Shubin Dresner was so excited to see Sparky that she snapped a selfie with the dragon before the food boxing began.

Alongside Sparky, members of the Stop & Shop team were helping out too. Stefanie Shuman, public relations manager for Stop & Shop stores on Long Island, stated that Stop & Shop has been dedicated to working with Island Harvest for more than 20 years. As the official supermarket of the Islanders, Stop & Shop donated $50 for every Islanders assist at UBS Arena this season. The $9,900 donation to Island Harvest on Friday came from the 198 assists the Isles created on the ice.

"At Stop & Shop, our commitment is to eradicating hunger in the communities that we serve," Shuman said. 

Thanks to the Isles and Stop & Shop's teamwork at the rink, and Island Harvest's dedication to curbing hunger every day, more people on Long Island are being fed. 

"Money is important, but the time is important as well," Shuman said. "If you have the time for volunteering with your local food bank or local soup pantry, or even the bigger Island Harvests around Long Island, it makes such a big difference to those in need."

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