Improving Irrigation At Island Harvest Food Bank’s Healthy Harvest Farm
Our local communities have faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizations whose mission it is to help those in need often found themselves in need of help. The Island Harvest Food Bank in Melville, N.Y. is Long Island’s largest food relief organization. Founded in 1992 as a one-woman operation by Linda Breitstone, Island Harvest has grown for nearly 30 years into a network of 570 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other organizations across Long Island whose mission is to “end hunger and reduce food waste”.
In 2018, Island Harvest Food Bank started the Healthy Harvest Farm, a two-acre working and learning farm that provides healthy produce for Long Islanders in need. After COVID-19 forced Island Harvest to halt work at the farm in early 2020, the organization restarted work in May 2021 but found their efforts – and their crops – challenged by irrigation issues.
Donating Irrigation Systems To Help The Food Bank
In early July, Rain Bird partnered with BrightView, the nation’s leading commercial landscaping company, and SiteOne Landscape Supply, the leading supplier for green industry professionals, to design, install, and implement a state-of-the-art drip irrigation system at Healthy Harvest Farm. Together, the three companies donated everything necessary to make this irrigation system possible, from equipment and supplies to labor. The new system, designed to reduce water usage and keep plants healthier, helped Healthy Harvest Farm get back to providing its community with fresh produce.
Working with these great partners came naturally for Rain Bird, especially as SiteOne’s Steve Schepers is a former Rain Bird National Project Manager and spent 18 years on our team. The project was spearheaded by Michael Jones, BrightView Business Developer, Northeast, who is a Long Island native. Donn Mann, Rain Bird Regional Manager, Specification, shared that this “fantastic partnership opportunity for all three organizations was strengthened thanks to the shared interest in local community education on Intelligent Use of Water. Despite inventory issues,” he added, “we were able to utilize our irrigation system of products to deliver an efficient use of water through drip irrigation at the farm for Island Harvest Food Bank, which will aid in producing bountiful crops for years to come.”
Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO of Island Harvest Food Bank, highlighted the importance of partnerships like this one. “BrightView, SiteOne, and Rain Bird’s generosity ensure that our Healthy Harvest Farm will help produce more nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables to benefit our neighbors struggling with food insecurity,” Dresner said. “It’s through these cooperative partnerships that we can solve some of society’s most pressing issues, such as hunger and food insecurity, and we’re grateful for their assistance.” Rain Bird is glad to be part of these important efforts to support Long Islanders facing food insecurity.
Rain Bird’s Core Values
Community involvement is one of Rain Bird’s core values, and we’re excited to see where our work takes us next. When you work at Rain Bird, you are part of a company that encourages employees to seek out ways to serve our local communities and partner with other organizations to make change and help those in need. Learn more about Rain Bird’s opportunities for volunteering, charitable giving, and grants and scholarships, as well as our commitment to the personal growth and development of our employees.