Students and several mothers from the Bethpage community volunteered on a breezy Sunday afternoon to sort and distribute shared food from grocery chains like Whole Foods, Trader Joes and others as well as independent grocers at the FNBLI meeting place at Hempstead Train Station on Sunday, September 22 from 2pm to 430pm. With efficiency, great work ethic and organization, BHS Student Civic volunteers, led by veteran volunteer Sara Cirisi, organized the various categories of foods on tables, organized groups of those waiting for food and learned about operating an organized event of sizable proportions with efficiency, dignity and plenty for all. This year, BHS Student Civic Executive Board members decided to volunteer for FNB-LI and were surprised to find that Sara Cirisi had already been volunteering with this organization on her own for quite a while and loved the connection. Sara and her mother met BHS Student Civic members Deena Hadhoud, Josett Bernberg, Firas Akbik, Luca and Michelle Lee and their mom, Nicholas Ilasi and his mom, all ready and able to lend their support and volunteer where needed. Later, Brian O'Haire from the Bethpage Post Office introduced the students to the fundamentals of FNB-LI, thanked them for attending and taking time out of their Sunday afternoon to selflessly help a great effort and invited them to participate any weekend in the future. FNB-LI is the Long Island branch of the international organization Food Not Bombs which through contact with major grocers, arranges for food donations so that food is not wasted and counts on volunteers within the organization to drive the food, sort it on tables, staff the tables and distribute the food. At the end of the foodshare, there are people who cook and serve vegetarian meals for anyone in the vicinity needing or wanting a hot meal. Sunday's fare was a spicy Indian soup with plenty of whole-grain bread from Whole Foods. We all said goodbye at 430pm although some people were still eating while some were breaking down tables, boxes and clearing the grounds. Everyone commented on how well run everything was, how calm and purposeful. It wouldn't be a surprise if more foodshare experiences are on the horizon for BHS Student Civic!

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