SI Hunger Task Force Monthly Meeting: Beekeeping Training, Leadership, Blue Star Families Surveys, Support For Food Insecurity


Editor’s note: Readers may remember our coverage of the Kosher and Halal food pantry needs at the SI Hunger Task Force’s monthly meeting in November.  We also covered their food pantry survey and previous monthly meeting during the holiday season.  

Staten Island Hunger Task Force

Meeting Minutes from April 1, 2024

Attendance – Delila Nadal, Tommy Bond, Chris Dowling, Susan Fowler, Heather Butts, Terry Troia, Tanya Jones, Jody Stoll, Alex Hughes, Alemayehu Ayele, Paloma Wasserstein, Erica Newhouse, Consuela Rodriguez, Claudette Hill, André Ware, Christopher Springer, Alex Korkhov, Juan Fernandez

Meeting Minutes – March minutes incomplete, available below

Committee Reports –

Data – 28 new mailchimp subscribers

Governance –  

There is a wealth of information available on

Governing Principles found Here

Food For All – Tracking down and publishing SIHTF Legislative Luncheon Recording

Erica Newhouse – Blue Star Families

Founded by military spouses to bring more support to the families of service members. Blue Star Families run a pantry program among many others. The DoD runs many surveys, but Blue Star Families runs supplemental surveys, because many believe that giving honest answers within military infrastructure will not bear fruit, and may also lead to negative marks on a soldier’s file. 1 in 25 service members experience food insecurity. Strong partnerships with Americorps and Americorps seniors who strongly support pantry operations. Serve roughly 400 individuals per month.

André Ware – Bee University

Non-profit org that engages urban communities with training in beekeeping, advocacy, and leadership. Urban Beekeeping Fellowship youth (16-24) 7 weeks on Sundays. Teaches basic beekeeping skills while exposing youth to critical issues in their communities such as climate change and green jobs. There is a $1,000 stipend if chosen for the fellowship. Bee University is also working with the Living Roof project at the St. George Ferry Terminal, which is hosting an adopt a plot program, encouraging food grown in the community and requiring all food grown there be donated to the community for free. It is understood that wind on the roof of the Ferry Terminal can be a huge obstacle,  but precautions are being taken, and we are excited to see how this project materializes. Precautions are in place in the case of unknown allergies such as dress code, and Epi-pen availability.

Chris Dowling – CEC Participatory Budgeting

We are now entering phase 3 of an initiative to get New Yorkers ages 11+ regardless of immigration status to vote on projects that have been developed by the community in a process that began in September. We would like to utilize our pantries in order to make sure we are taking into account the most vulnerable and often overlooked Staten Island residents. Voting starts May 1st and will go through June 12th.

Alex Korkhov – CCHR

Communities United for Respect and Trust is holding a series of workshops from April 2- 4 as well as a keynote event on April 5th. These workshops are to inform and address the root causes and possible solutions in order to fight bias and inequity in our society. All are welcome, and we look forward to seeing many of you attending our workshops and learning about those who are discriminated against.

Heather Butts – Garden Bed Build Sat 4/6 at Stapleton NYCHA all are welcome to join

The Fair Start Program is doing heavy recruiting. If you know anyone who may qualify please contact me (Heather Butts) for details.

4/2 Panel discussion Hunger in NYC Linda Rosenthal is the keynote speaker. 5:30 – 6:45 If interested contact me.


Staten Island Hunger Task Force

Meeting Minutes, March 2024


Chris Dowling, Heather Butts, Tommy Bond, George Barreto, Delila Nadal, Amelia Winter, Shakeia McPherson, Danielle Parks, Lynell Bruno, Cathay Carlson, Paloma Wasserstein, Claudette Hill, Veronica Gambon,  Alemayehu Ayele, Juan Fernandez, Joe Magliocco, Alex Hughes, Christopher Springer, Joe Conte, Ashley Restaino, Monique Lindsay, Ginny Mantello, Erica Newhouse, Renee Roper, Jennifer Chambers, Jack Martz

Minutes – Motion to approve by Delila Nadal, Seconded by Juan Fernandez, pass without abstention or objection

Committee Reports –

Data – 2 additional pantries signed up for membership, and 25 new mailchimp subscribers

Governance – operating principles will begin making their rounds sometime soon for organization wide reading and discussion pending final approval

Food For All – No current updates

Legislative Luncheon – Approximately 50 attendees combined in person and via Zoom which is moderately successful and we plan to increase our attendance in the future.

Dr. Joe Conte – SIPPS Presentation on 1115 Waiver

SIPPS was formed in 2015. SIPPS works quite extensively with SDOH (Social Determinants of Health). Since 2019 SIPPS has been working with partners to establish a closed-loop referral network. Upwards of 50k SDOH screenings with about 100 partners. SIPPS works as a backbone organization with these efforts. Currently SIPPS is working to implement the 1115 waiver and integrate SDOH screenings into the Medicaid system. SIPPS holds it that without understanding someone’s living circumstances, it is impossible to give meaningful and effective clinical healthcare. Housing, environment, access to food, and many other SDOH factors are responsible for the effectiveness of clinical care. SIPPS wishes to supplement and support clinical practices for individuals.

Ashley Restaino –

SIPPS is the lead entity over a network of partners and pays CBO’s directly. This is due to the fact that SIPPS is responsible for building the Social Care Network. With that designation, they act as a backbone and distribute funding, but are unable to engage in any healthcare work that is already in existence or being funded through initiatives like these. The goal of creating this Social care network is to increase widespread access for medicare recipients to access Health Related Social Needs Services from existing CBO’s and both directly and indirectly address the SDOH. This program has been in development for some time, and will continue to evolve and take shape as time passes. Once the program starts functioning in its full capacity, it is undoubtable that data will emerge and serve to guide the direction of future developments. This is all in an effort to make healthcare more accessible, more complete, more transparent, and more continuous.

Tim McIntyre – Teton Health

Works with several partners in the field of Food and Nutrition Support. Most of the program details are yet to come, but this initiative can help many people in need.

Dr. Ginny Mantello – Would these screenings cover Medicare recipients or Undocumented, uninsured persons?

Ashley Restiano –  Uninsured persons are ineligible at this time, as are people who only receive Medicare

Tim McIntyre – We need to work together as a community outside this program to address the gaps that exist in this program. We are working with other managed care organizations outside the medicaid 1115 waiver program through programs such as medicare managed care.

Banner Image: Hungry birds. Image Credit – barskefranck


SI Hunger Task Force

The SI Hunger Task Force is not a pantry. Instead, we connect community members to pantries and pantries to community and government resources.

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