Note: The following news release was issued by Brookhaven Science Associates, the company that manages and operates Brookhaven Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Brookhaven Science Associates Donates $20,000 for Weekly Delivery of Organic Vegetables to Local Food Pantry

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The first weekly delivery of fresh, organic vegetables provided by Brookhaven Sciences Associates' $20,000 donation for Superstorm Sandy relief arrived at the Mastics and Shirley Community Emergency Food Center on Thursday, June 20. Pictured are (from left) Clint Applin, Green Thumb Organic Farm; Brookhaven Lab Director and Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) President Doon Gibbs; BSA Board Member, and Stony Brook University Provost and Vice President for Brookhaven Affairs Dennis Assanis; and Mastics and Shirley Community Emergency Food Center Director Bill Jackson.

Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), the company that manages Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, has donated $20,000 to provide weekly deliveries of fresh, organic vegetables for families served by the Mastics and Shirley Community Emergency Food Center. The donation comes from BSA's two partners—Stony Brook University and Battelle—and is part of a $50,000 commitment to local disaster relief efforts for people who are still displaced and recovering from the effects of Superstorm Sandy.

BSA's donation will provide seasonal, fresh-picked crops to feed 50 or more families each week between now and December 5. The vegetables are grown and delivered by Green Thumb Organic Farm of Watermill, N.Y. through its community-supported agriculture program. The first delivery of vegetables arrived at the pantry on Thursday, June 20.

"We hope this donation of fresh produce to the Mastics and Shirley Community Emergency Food Center will help people in need in our community," said BSA Co-chair and Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. "We heard first hand of the many people who suffered incredibly from Superstorm Sandy, including many of our students, faculty, and staff at Stony Brook. An overwhelming event like that underscores the importance of helping members of the community during a difficult time and it is gratifying to know that we can provide this valuable support to our neighbors."

"BSA and our employees at Brookhaven Lab look forward to providing organic vegetables as some relief for local community residents still recovering from the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy, while we continue our work to lessen the impacts of future storms by developing new energy technologies and applications for a smarter, more recoverable electrical grid," said Brookhaven Lab Director and BSA President Doon Gibbs. "We're also pleased that this donation will benefit a long-standing Long Island business."

Director of the Mastics and Shirley Community Emergency Food Center Bill Jackson said, "Even though the storm hit eight months ago, we're still serving 700 families—about 2,100 people—each month compared to 500 families per month in years past. People love fresh produce and serving it now allows us to save canned goods for winter."

The Mastics and Shirley Community Emergency Food Center is open four days each week to families who live in the Mastic, Mastic Beach, and Shirley areas. These areas have been identified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a "food desert," where community members lack ready access to healthy, affordable food.

"We're grateful for the opportunity to participate in this thoughtful, inspirational project and are excited to begin delivering our sustainably grown, organic crops for the people served by this pantry," said Johanna Halsey of Green Thumb Organic Farm.

In addition to the vegetables paid for by BSA, Green Thumb Organic Farm will donate to the pantry any extra crops—including beans, eggplants, and peppers—that are available each week.

BSA and its employees at Brookhaven Lab have participated in multiple relief efforts since the storm last year, helping affected Long Islanders and relief workers during the long recovery process. Immediately after the storm, the Lab housed 80 Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Park Service workers in a dormitory on site. Employees donated and delivered holiday gifts to displaced families, volunteered at a local food shelter, and donated and assembled buckets of cleaning supplies to help residents clean flooded homes. BSA employees from Brookhaven Lab also joined with local community organizations and elected officials for a waterfront cleanup in Mastic Beach.

BSA has held the management and operation contract for Brookhaven Lab since 1998. In the past 15 years it has donated substantial funding to support relief efforts around the globe following disasters that include 9/11, the 2005 southeast Asia tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 China earthquake and cyclone in Myanmar, and the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami. BSA also contributes to Brookhaven Lab's annual fundraising campaign for the United Way of Long Island.

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