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New state program to help restaurants and fight hunger

A new state initiative aimed at helping restaurants and fight hunger has just launched.

Called the Restaurant Resiliency Program, it provides $1.6 million for two Long Island nonprofits to buy meals from restaurants, in an effort to help their businesses through the pandemic.

Island Harvest and Long Island Cares will distribute the meals purchased from state-approved eateries to those in need.

Restaurants can participate in the program as long as they have passed health inspections, have valid operating licenses and can offer meals that meet state guidelines.

So far, 10 food banks in the state have been awarded a total of $25 million to feed their clients through the program. On Long Island, both Island Harvest and Long Island Cares and Island Harvest expect to buy as many as 50,000 meals each for distribution before the program is set to end on March 31, 2022.

Restaurants can apply to join the program here.

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