Pitcured: Center on knee is Luis Leon; Left to Right, Vicky Zhang, Rosemary Kasthuriraj, Edgar Juarez, Roy Smitheimer, Deputy Executive Director of the Town of North Hempstead Business and Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC), Kim Kaiman, Executive Director of the BTDC, Town Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, Andrea and Stephen Levine (Hosts/Emcees), Janice L. Blake, Barbara Laccone, Daniel Crowe (rear), Jo Grossburdt, and Lillian Kuo Chang
Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014 2:03 pm
By Anthony O’Reilly
A Great Neck real estate agent on Thursday spearheaded a food drive that resulted in the donation of more than 1,000 bags of food for the St. Aloysius Interfaith Food Pantry.
Andrea Levine, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty, said she organized the food drive as part of her company’s sixth annual community outreach event called RED – Renewing, Energizing and Donating – Day.
“Once a year, the Keller Williams associates from around the country give back to the community,” Levine said. “This is the day that we do that for the communities we’re located in.”
Levine, a longtime resident of Great Neck, said she has been working out of the company’s Great Neck office for six months.
The food drive was held outside Waldbaum’s Great Neck location, located at 40 Great Neck Road, where Levine and her team handed shopping bags to people entering the store between 11:30 am. to 3 p.,m. and asked them to fill up the bags with food to be donated to the food pantry.
Levine said shoppers later returned the bags of food to the table, Levine said.
Levine said the St. Aloysius’ interfaith food pantry was picked as the beneficiary of the food drive because it donates food to Great Neck residents of all faiths.
“They give food to anybody as long as they show proof of residency in Great Neck,” she said.
Levine said she was surprised at the number of bags that were returned by shoppers.
“We had more than 1,000 bags donated, which was amazing,” she said.
The food was then shipped to St. Aloysius’ food pantry, located behind the church at 592 Middle Neck Road.
Bertha Del Carpio, executive director of the St. Aloysius outreach program, said she was also surprised by the amount of food donated.
“I was not expecting that much,” Del Carpio said.
The food pantry gives out food to Great Neck residents every other week and on an emergency basis, Del Carpio said.
Del Carpio said although the pantry primarily serves Great Neck residents, other people are not denied food on their first visit.
“We’ll give them food and then direct them to where they need to go,” she said.
Del Carpio said the outreach program works with several organizations throughout the year to stock the shelves of the food pantry.
“Sometimes the school does it for us, the fire departments, the temples,” she said.
Del Carpio said she was happy to see Great Neck residents helping the food pantry.
“We’re happy that the Great Neck community is helping us,” she said.