Feeding Our Own: Lynbrook Supplies Families with Meals During Unprecedented Times

The whole world has become flipped upside down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, schools served as a a safe haven for many children throughout the country, providing a sweet escape from the harsh realities that may be waiting for them at home. Schools provide much more than an education. For many, the closing of schools across New York State has ripped this haven away, especially when it comes to meals provided by the school.

These unprecedented shutdowns are also leading towards a crippled economy. Over the past few weeks, many have lost their jobs or have been furloughed, no longer receiving an income. The Lynbrook School District has stepped up to the plate, opening its hearts and taking action to help the many in need within the community. The Lynbrook Food Distribution program has been up and running throughout this global pandemic, reaching out to bring that safe haven home to its students.

The Lynbrook Food Distribution program has been running since Tuesday, Mar. 17. As part of an essential service during the COVID-19 crisis, the program is providing meals directly to Lynbrook families. The program has currently distributed over 4,500 meals to Lynbrook families and has not missed a single distribution day. Distribution happens every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10am to 12pm in front of Lynbrook High School. The group of volunteers running the table consists of all Lynbrook staff members and community volunteers. Laurie Mitchell, Director of Guidance, has been coordinating this program for the district since it started.

“The outpouring of generosity and support from the Lynbrook staff and community has been truly incredible. Some heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for our district and building leadership for your support (sometimes daily) in providing this essential service for our families; the LHS custodial staff being there every day, setting up, and providing the space for this program to be possible; and our amazing volunteers: Every day, you show up, rain or shine, greet our families with a warm, generous smile when they pick up their meals. Some have also been assistants in the kitchen helping us supply the tremendous volume of meals being distributed in only two hours,” said Mitchell.

Emily Paladino

Countless food services and organizations have been donating food to Lynbrook, like Aramark Food Services, Island Harvest, The Experience Vineyard Church of RVC, and Lynbrook PBA. Island Harvest has been donating full meals for adults while the Vineyard Church has been donating produce to Lynbrook for use in the distribution.

The Lynbrook Police Department is donating food and non-perishable items to Lynbrook. “My wife, Jane, who works in the library department at LHS, mentioned to me that the School District was looking for donations of non-perishable food to the supply the breakfast and lunch program. I told the Lynbrook PBA Board Members and they were only too happy to make a donation. The Lynbrook community has been so generous to the Police Department throughout the COVID-19 quarantine, it was the least we could do to pay it forward,” explained Lynbrook Police Chief Brian Paladino.

Along with the Lynbrook Police Department, the Lynbrook PBA has also been donating to Lynbrook to give back to the families in need. “The members of the Lynbrook PBA are extremely proud to serve the Lynbrook community, one of which has historically stood behind its police department. We have received tremendous support in the recent weeks, and so when we found out about the need of food for the students, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to give back,” stated Lynbrook PBA Vice President Anthony Falsitta.

Donations to the distribution are now open to the public, providing the perfect opportunity to give back to the community during these trying, unprecedented times. The program will be available as long as Governor Cuomo keeps the schools going. Lynbrook families are in need of help from the community. Here is a list of items needed for donation:

Items for the Pantry:

  • Pasta
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Canned vegetables
  • Beans
  • Canned soup, chili
  • Soup broth
  • Canned tuna, salmon, chicken
  • Cereal and breakfast items
  • Cookies and snacks
  • Ramen
  • Rice
  • Dried noodles
  • Condiments: mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise
  • Jarred pasta sauce
  • Tomato paste, sauce, etc
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly


  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Body wash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Dish soap
  • Sponges
  • Detergent
  • Paper goods: Toilet paper, paper towels
  • Gift cards to supermarket, target, CVS, Rite Aid, local eateries