The Exchange

New York Community Bank Offers New Beginnings to Veterans

Operation: Hope helps rebuild the lives of veterans and military families

Long Island, New York has the second largest veteran population in the United States. And those who have served their nation in combat often face exceptional obstacles readjusting to civilian life. These struggles range from severe physical injuries to post traumatic stress disorder, and even budgetary difficulties as a result of not being able to start a new career.

In 2016, the Island Harvest Food Bank, with the assistance of New York Community Bank (NYCB), launched Operation: HOPE Presented by New York Community Bank. The program assists veterans and the families of active duty personnel deployed overseas, with the objective of moving veterans and their families from uncertainty to stability. From addressing housing issues and finding employment, to offering food supplies and helping individuals overcome depression, Operation: Hope volunteers connect those in need with people who can help them.

When a group of people come together for a common cause, they see first-hand the impact they, and their company, can have in their own community.Kelly Maude Leung, Senior Vice President

According to NYCB, the company contributes $100,000 per year to Island Harvest in addition to hundreds of volunteer hours helping collect and distribute food throughout the year. Company employees participate in a variety of initiatives, including food preparation and distribution events and the annual Veteran’s Day Holiday Food Drive in Farmingdale, NY. In 2017, NYCB employees helped Island Harvest provide 10,000 pounds of food to local veterans and families. “When a group of people come together for a common cause, they see first-hand the impact they, and their company, can have in their own community,” said Kelly Maude Leung, Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications for New York Community Bank. “Through Operation: Hope, we have been able to deepen our commitment to our local Long Island community, and we look forward to supporting this program long-term so that we can help our local veterans and military families rebuild their lives and move forward on a path toward success.”

Operation: Hope Makes an Impact

With the help of NYCB and other local organizations over the last two years, Island Harvest reported the team:

  • Distributed 1,314 food packages to veterans and their families, each including one month’s worth of food
  • Supplemented nearly 60,000 meals with a total of more than 70,000 pounds of healthy food

To Island Harvest, progress is not just measured by statistics but by "impact beyond pounds." They measure how successful programs and services are in changing the lives of Long Island veterans by improving their ability to maintain their independence through access to food and community resources.

Learn More About Island Harvest Food Bank