Organizers Say 300,000 Families Are In Need This Year

BETHPAGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Thousands are expected to turn out to provide help for the hungry at one of the largest food drives on Long Island.

The fifth annual Bethpage Turkey Drive to benefit Island Harvest kicked off Friday.

The donations will help hundreds of thousands of families still facing hardship one year after Superstorm Sandy.

It is estimated 300,000 Long Island families are in need this year, organizers said.

The Bethpage Turkey Drive on Nov. 15, 2013. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

The Bethpage Turkey Drive on Nov. 15, 2013. (credit: Mona Rivera/1010 WINS)

“Last year we collected 12,000 turkeys and it was not enough,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, President & CEO of Island Harvest.

“Unfortunately, more and more people have a hunger need on Long Island,” organizer Linda Armyn said. “One in 10 Long Islanders have a need for food.”

Long Islanders are being asked to donate frozen turkeys, non-perishable food items or cash.

“Every turkey that’s donated to us helps to feed a whole family and it really makes a big difference,” Dresner said. “It’s really important to us.”

Volunteers,including members of the Long Island University C. W. Post football team, will continue to collect items at the Bethpage Federal Credit Union parking lot at 899 South Oyster Bay Road until 7 p.m. Friday.

“It’s great for us to get out in the community and help out and show our support to everybody,” volunteer Michael Million said.

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