Achievements in 2016 | Community Solidarity

Community Solidarity did some amazing things with your help in 2016. Here's my top 20 list of those accomplishments, and they're pretty epic.

Community Solidarity did some amazing things with your help in 2016. Here's my top 20 list of those accomplishments, and they're pretty epic.  

  1. We shared 4,102,309 pounds of vegetarian groceries.
  2. We reached an average of 5,400 people each week across our food shares and the dozens of nonprofits we supply food to. Over 2,000 of those people received a week's worth of groceries from Community Solidarity each-and-every week! 
  3. Our volunteers had over 203,230 direct interactions with Long Islanders in need of assistance.   
  4. In any given day of 2016, an average of 182k people across Long Island faced hunger. We were able to help 2.96% of them. With your help we can do even more in 2017.
  5. In 2016 we shared $10,487,772.94 of necessities with tens of thousands of families across Long Island & NYC.
  6. We also shared over 115,106 items of clothing; 7,131 of which were winter coats and 12,249 pairs of shoes.  
  7. We shared $9,776.68 worth of school supplies with students in need. 
  8. We shared 1,081,335 apples, 360,340 bananas, 321,563 oranges and 550,825 loaves of bread; along with a variety of items in the hundreds. If you stacked just the boxes of apples on top of one another they'd be nearly a mile high!
  9. We shared over 466,600 bouquets of flowers! It's kind of unbelievable until you stop by a Huntington Share and see how many we get on a Tuesday night. We also shared tens of thousands of plant starts and seeds, so people could grow their own food, in their own gardens. We call this program our peach tree project and this past summer over 5% of the food we shared came to us as surplus from the plants we gave out across the communities we operate in!
  10. Our volunteers contributed a total of 135,073 hours in 2016! That's thousands of volunteers across all our Food Shares, pickups and food pantry drop-offs volunteering 135,073 hours helping their neighbors. 
  11. We shared 4,118 pounds of pet food cause companion animals can face hunger as well.  
  12. Long Island is a huge place, 118 miles long. In 2016 our volunteers drove a total of 113,010.58 miles collecting and delivering food. That's just about half of the distance from the earth to the moon! 
  13. Did you know food waste is a big cause of global warming? By rescuing and repurposing food waste, Community Solidarity prevented over 3,856,171 pounds of CO2 from going into the atmosphere in 2016. Even if you factor in the 143,278 pounds of CO2 created by the vehicles which were needed to rescue the food, the net gain was 3,766,269 pounds of CO2 removed from the atmosphere, (the 53,376 pound differential is from changes in temperature and humidity, which we take into account cause we're all scientific and stuff).  
  14. Our food rescue operations had the same   environmental benefit as 180 acres of forest - in terms of absorbing green house gases!    
  15. The organic vegetarian foods we shared had a total of 1,835,179 daily values of fiber, 4,174,658 daily values of Vitamin A, 2,512,862 daily values of Iron and 5,013,797 daily values of Vitamin K. That may all sound like greek to you, but to us these are metrics of nutrition that separate us from all other hunger relief organizations in the country. Considering the scale of our distribution, we don't just share healthy foods, we shared the healthiest foods of any nonprofit in 2016; plus, we monitor over 300 nutrition metrics to prove it.  
  16. The areas we share food in like HempsteadHuntington Station and Wyandanch are considered food deserts. These are areas lacking in nutritious foods and they're also areas with higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. So we flooded these areas with organic produce in 2016, and now the folks we share with tell us every week how much these foods have improved their lives. 
  17. Sharing vegetarian foods save hundreds of thousands of animals! In 2016, we shared 72,515,796.37 grams of plant based protein! That's the same as 3,625,790 hamburgers or 630,572 whole chickens; just without all the cruelty and killing. Animal agriculture is the #1 cause of climate change and almost always the #1 cause of health problems in humans. Everyday Community Solidarity proves that you can be good to animals, humans and the environment. 
  18. We prepared over 30,875 hot plates of gourmet organic vegan meals. Our Bedstuy and Hempstead Shares serve hot vegan meals in addition to sharing a weeks worth of groceries. It's a great time to talk and meet new friends. We're all about breaking bread, and slices of vegan cheese cake... If you haven't had a chance to sample some of our amazing meals we welcome you to the table.
  19. Our Thanksgiving Bonanza was huge like always, really really huge. We shared over 100k pounds of vegetarian groceries in under three hours with thousands of people. All this was done with the help of hundreds of amazing volunteers who transformed a cold wet day into a beautiful festival with face painting and even a latte bar.
  20. We operated 24/7 for all 366 days of 2016, nonstop. From blizzards, rain storms, 17 degree food shares to a 102 degree food share. Hunger doesn't stop because of the weather and neither do we. Even on the holidays; from christmas, to thanksgiving, to any and all other days. We're out in the streets in solidarity with our neighbors because we believe food is a right, not a privilege. We're out on the cold nights and boiling hot days. We operate a 24/7 hotline anyone can call at any time if they need help and we make the space for anyone to participate in anyway they can. We're able to do everything that we did in 2016 because we're a community that welcomes all people in helping to make the world we-all want to live in. Our goals might be lofty, but we don't settle for giving handouts, we want to end hunger, we want to stand for everyone, even the people who don't like us. We're strong because we're solidarity, not charity and we welcome you to join us. Wether you've volunteered with us in 2016, or before than, or if you've never volunteered with us, there will always be a place for you with us. You'll always be able to be part of our collective community, you'll always be able to be a leader, to build on your ideas, to help in your own ways, in whatever ways you can think of. That's what made us strong in 2016, that's what will make us stronger in 2017 and that's what will give us the strength to change things for the better going forward. We welcome you to volunteer, or get even more involved by clicking here.   

What are your favorite Community Solidarity moments of 2016? 

Over the next two weeks we invite you to share your memories, photos and videos from 2016, on facebook or instagram. Just use the hashtag #CommunitySolidarity and we'll add your content to our feeds. On January 15th we'll be sharing a few prizes with those of you who have the posts with the most likes so feel free to share widely. 

Oh, we've been in the news a lot in 2016. Some of our favorite features are below. 

Fios News 1 - a video feature of our Hempstead Share.
Edible Long Island - an article about our Huntington Share.
Hope is the Thing - a awesome podcast by our friend Dawn.
Long Island Press - ranked us as influential. 

Tags: 2016