LI charities struggling to help the needy

Penny Asencio, of Brookhaven, is a single mother of four who says she struggles to put food on the table and can hardly afford to

BROOKHAVEN - Penny Asencio, of Brookhaven, is a single mother of four who says she struggles to put food on the table and can hardly afford to buy any furniture, but today, Christmas came early to her family.

The Lighthouse Mission surprised the Asencios, delivering beds, a sofa, tables, food and Christmas presents.

Pastor Jim Ryan, of the Lighthouse Mission, says an anonymous donor in the community provided the funds to help those in need this holiday season.

Ryan adds that he has never seen so many people struggling to make ends meet on Long Island. At Island Harvest, the demand for food and donations is the highest it's ever been, but Long Island's largest food bank says funds are down.

"It's becoming a challenge for us to continue to find food donations so we can make sure we can fill the shelves and food pantries across the Island," says Randi Shubin Dresner, of Island Harvest.

Island HarvestLighthouse Mission

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