Food drive Fridays

Anchor Real Estate of Long Island and partners plan to make coping with COVID part of the past with surplus of donations


Anchor Real Estate of Long Island is in the holiday spirit—are you?

Among her business’ employees, family, friends and contacts (Jane McLaughlin, an attorney in Medford, Hamlet Title in Ronkonkoma, and Jeff Butofsky of Nationwide Mortgage), Gina Ferraro of Anchor Real Estate managed to gather enough donations from her in-house food drive to feed 40 families.

“I had no idea the idea was going to take off; I was floored by the generosity,” Ferraro said of her first successful food drive.

The effort put forward by Ferraro was recognized as exactly the thought Danielle Paisley, director of the Patchogue-Medford Library, the original location of an in-house food drive, had to encourage businesses to conduct individual food drives with their employees and partners. 

“It's a great way to come together as a team to do some good in the community. COVID has made it more difficult for employees to come together and feel like a team. Activities like this really help employees participate with each other in a positive way and will hopefully translate to a more hopeful and productive work environment,” added Paisley. “And, the food drive will benefit those in need in our community, so what could be better?" 

Ferraro’s drive, in particular, benefited the Family Center at the Patchogue-Medford School District for local families in need. Items donated included everything from mac and cheese to toilet paper, all neatly given in personalized bags.

“On behalf of the district, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to Anchor Real Estate and so many others who have donated during this time to help our community members that are in need,” said Patchogue-Medford superintendent of schools Dr. Donna Jones, thankful for Ferraro’s efforts. “I truly appreciate your kindness and applaud your altruism during this challenging time.”

Now, Paisley and Ferraro hope the idea to hold internal food drives will spread as a model for other local businesses to do the same. If joined, Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce executive director David Kennedy promised to support their businesses with a shout-out from the chamber on the website and social media on “Food Drive Fridays.”

“Obviously, there is even more of a need in our community and we want to do everything we can,” Kennedy said, proud of Anchor Real Estate.

Also, in an effort to help those individual drives connect with local organizations in need, Marian Russo, leader of The Greater Patchogue COAD, Community Organizations Active in Disaster, has offered her contacts, with options to choose from.

“Everyone wants to donate to somewhere different,” she explained, noting that COAD has partnered with many deserving organizations. “What Gina did is a great model. It’s also really important, especially this holiday season with unemployed families. This is a different type of disaster [COVID] and people have no real end in sight; this is not going away.”

Russo said she intends to keep the program going well past the holiday season and hopes to maybe even inspire some friendly competition with whatever business can raise the most.

To get your company involved, call the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce at 631-207-1000 or reach out to Russo directly at 631-475-4300 ext. 126.


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