Community Solidarity collects and shares vegetarian groceries with thousands of people across Long Island and New York City, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Surprising to some, this massive volunteer effort is only a secondary goal for our organization. The main objective of Community Solidarity, perhaps an objective that is a little too obvious, is to build up the community. We believe that by achieving this aim, by building up communities in struggling neighborhoods, that in doing this process we actually achieve all our other goals as well. Goals like ending hunger, malnutrition, violence, discrimination, and sexism at the local level.
Empowerment, both for individuals and communities is our goal. Creating self-worth by offering the tools for that empowerment is how we've grown.
Community Solidarity doesn’t have the resources that other nonprofits on our scale have. We have no warehouses, no tractor-trailer trucks, and no employees. What we have are thousands of families and individuals that are in need of assistance who have just as much of desire to give back to their own neighborhoods as we do. So we capitalize on the very community we're looking to build up.
“Solidarity, not Charity!”
This is our main motto; you see, Community Solidarity doesn’t want to be a charity. Or put another way, we don’t want to give handouts. Instead, we share free vegetarian groceries with anyone who needs it, no questions asked, but we offer anyone receiving that food limitless ways to give back to their community. Reciprocation is the tool that allows us to grow while empowering all those who join our community.
On a day-to-day basis, there are those who are hungry who also organize clothing collections from their neighbors, they then distribute those items at our shares while they pick up their groceries.
There are homeless individuals that join us for donation pickups at supermarkets, and in doing so, they help to feed their community while building up great resume material; talents like leadership skills and business experience.
There are struggling families that organize activities for each other's kids at our various distribution locations.
There are seniors who grow produce for our shares while also picking up some bread and other items they need.
There are no limits to the ways anyone in need of assistance at our weekly Food Shares can give back and help our organization and their community to grow.
It’s this “Community Solidarity” model, that allows us to help so many with so little resources. In fact, Community Solidarity is the most cost-effective hunger relief nonprofit on this scale. For every $1 donated to us in 2016, we were able to rescue 328 pounds of nutritious groceries, share 21 items of warm clothing and provide $8.30 worth of school supplies to struggling families at the start of the school year. This isn't including the 46,504.5 pounds of fruit trees and vegetable starts we shared last year or the estimated annual yield of 255,774.75 pounds of produce those plants create. Or the 13,515 books we shared in 2014, or the 14,660 toys we shared, or the 15,0050 pounds of hygiene products, and the list goes on...
All this shared for free to those in need in the community by those in need in the community, and anyone else who'd like to lend a hand! We make no limitations on volunteering, regardless of age or ability, education or sex, everyone is welcome to volunteer, to find their niche in the community and empower others by empowering themselves. Because the greatest lesson we have to teach is that anyone and everyone can make a difference.
So if this discussion about community has inspired you, we invite you to join us at any of our Food Shares or signup to volunteer and learn more. The best way to change your community is to get involved!
Can't volunteer, but still want to help? Your donations are always welcome.
//See our community and our hunger relief program, in Hempstead, NY.