Photo: Town of Hempstead
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The INN gets $305K relief grant from CARES funding

The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) will receive a $305,000 grant towards reimbursement, purchase and distribution of food items and prepared hot healthy meals for individuals and families who are hungry and unemployed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Between March 2020 and March 2021, the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen served a total of 239,599 nutritious meals to nearly 56,431 guests and 15,898 pantry bags of groceries were given out to families. 

The grant to help pay for all that was made possible through the federal CARES Act funding provided to the Town of Hempstead last year. It will also enable Hempstead-based The INN to purchase additional meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even though the organization will be closed during the holidays, they will give out holiday meals before and send each guest home with a frozen meal to heat up those days.

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of guests who need our services in the community,” Jean Kelly, CEO of The INN, said in a written statement. “Thank you to Supervisor Clavin and the Hempstead Town Board for their overwhelming support in providing a critical service to families and individuals affected by COVID-19. We have seen the extent and severity of how this pandemic has affected the guests we serve every day, but this grant is helping us combat those effects.”

Founded in 1983 as a single soup kitchen run by a small group of concerned volunteers, The INN has grown to deliver its services through the largest soup kitchen on Long Island, temporary housing shelters and a long-term housing program. In Jan. 2016, The INN launched the Center for Transformative Change, a resource center and clothing boutique whose mission is to assist guests in obtaining assistance with extended supportive services.

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