Staten Islanders Demonstrate They Care For Military Families Struggling To Make Ends Meet: “Stock the Pantry” Drive For Ft Wadsworth Great Success

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Borough President’s Office Distributes Donations to Help Military Families Living at Fort Wadsworth

Editor’s note: We previously reported on the beginning of this food and essentials drive here.  

On that occasion, the borough president said,  “Many of our military families living on Fort Wadsworth struggle to make ends meet,” said Borough President Vito Fossella. “Providing food to help these families along is the least we can do to honor their service. We invite Staten Islanders to consider making a donation to help support these families through the winter.”

Read on to learn how successful this year’s drive was, and about the companies and individuals whose donations contribute to making a difference. 

Staten Island, NY – Borough President Vito Fossella and his office delivered donations to the Blue Star Families service pantry on Fort Wadsworth to conclude this winter’s “Stock the Pantry Drive.”


BP Fossella partnered once again with Blue Star Families for a “Stock the Pantry Drive” to bring food and other items to military families living at Fort Wadsworth.

“We think quite frankly that the fact that we are here is a shame, and it’s a stain on the country that active personnel, many with young families, can’t afford to put food on the table or give their infants diapers,” said Borough President Fossella. “Nevertheless, we’re not going to complain about it, we’re going to do something about it.”

The Stock the Pantry Drive called for diapers, baby wipes, name brand cereal, pancake mix, pasta & pasta sauce, peanut butter, reusable grocery bags, and healthy kids’ snacks.

In a display of charity and reverence for our servicemen and their families, an outstanding volume of donations were made by the Metropolitan Division of Kiwanis Clubs, Lifestyles for the Disabled, Markham (I.S.51) Intermediate School, Beyar’s Market, Richmond County Yacht Club, and generous citizens.

To collect these donations, BP Fossella partnered with Joyce’s Tavern, La Fontana, and Denino’s Pizzeria & Tavern, deploying a “Stock the Pantry” box at each location. Donations were collected between January 17th and February 23rd.

Notably, the box at Joyce’s Tavern always seemed to be full, and the Borough President’s office made 6 stops during the duration of the drive to pick up those donations.

In addition, Tommy Beyar of Beyar’s Market assisted with the Metropolitan Division of Kiwanis Clubs’ collection of donations.

During the morning on Friday, the “Stock the Pantry Drive” donations were delivered to the Fort Wadsworth-based service pantry with assistance from members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Local Union 3.

At the delivery, BP Fossella, members of the Borough President’s Office, Local Union 3 IBEW, and Blue Star Families were joined by Jerry Burt of the Metropolitan Division of Kiwanis Clubs and Joseph O’Toole Sr and Joseph O’Toole Jr, owners of Joyce’s Tavern, to bring the vast sum of donations into the pantry.

Borough President Fossella extended thanks to those who contributed, and claimed the drive was evidence of Staten Island’s caring and generous nature.

 

“This is the result. And the message today, for me, is that Staten Island cares. Staten Islanders care and want to take care of their neighbors, but they especially care about the men and women who wear our nation’s uniform. And, fortunately, we’re blessed with so many business owners, individuals, not-for-profits, Kiwanis groups, and guys from Local 3 who stepped up without hesitation and fortunately, this pantry is now packed,” said the Borough President.

 


Consuela Rodriguez, the program manager for the Blue Star Families, thanked the Staten Islanders who donated.

 

“Without the Staten Island community, we wouldn’t have all of this, so we appreciate it,” said Rodriguez. “As you know, 25% of our military families have food insecurity and you all do your part and we all come together as a community to do this.”

 

“It’s a shame that we have to be here, but, like Vito says, Staten Island always steps up. Thank God we have a great community, we’re all tight knit and we all come together whenever anybody needs a hand,” said Joseph O’Toole Jr.

“We saw this on Facebook and we passed around the flier, and raised just about $1500 in donations,” said Jerry Burt, Lieutenant Governor of the Metropolitan Division of Kiwanis Clubs. “We made three trips down here with members of the different clubs – North Central Kiwanis, South Shore Kiwanis, Verrazzano Kiwanis, and whatever Consuela needs in the future, we’ll try to get it down here.”

We would like to thank Blue Star Families, Joyce’s Tavern, La Fontana, and Denino’s for helping to facilitate these donations and Local Union 3 IBEW for assisting in the delivery, as well as all those organizations and kind citizens whose acts of charity will help our military families throughout the year.

Banner Image: Military family. Image Credit – Foundry


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BP Vito Fossella

The Office of the Borough President has a responsibility to advocate for the entire Borough of Staten Island and all its residents, and represents the Borough's interests within City government. The Borough President communicates directly with the Mayor and the City Council to emphasize Staten Island’s budget priorities. In addition, the Borough President is responsible for reviewing major land use decisions and proposing sites for city facilities within the Borough. As the chair of the Borough Board, the Borough President leads Staten Island’s City Council delegation and Community Board chairs in the process of reviewing and approving the transfer of public properties to private use. The Borough President’s Office houses the Borough's Topographical Bureau, which maintains the borough’s official maps and assigns street addresses. The Borough President monitors the delivery of city services on Staten Island, and acts as a liaison between residents and city agencies when problems arise to devise solutions. The Borough President is also responsible for appointing one member to the Panel for Educational Policy and one member to the City Planning Commission, as well as some 150 members to Staten Island’s three community boards.

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