THE HARRY CHAPIN FOOD
When The Harry Chapin Food Bank first opened its doors in February 1982,
it served a mere handful
of agencies in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Today, we deliver food to
over 540 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, group homes, day treatment
facilities, senior nutrition sites and day care centers in Nassau and
Suffolk counties. These agencies, in turn, distribute the food to
their clients and/or provide meals from the food received.
In 2010, The Harry Chapin Food Bank distributed over 6 million
pounds of food and household goods. Long Island Cares is the only contracted
organization in our
area for the distribution of food from the N.Y.
State Department of Health HPNAP (Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program)
and the United States Department of Agriculture TEFAP (The Emergency Food
In addition, Long Island Cares is a certified member of
Feeding America, a national network of food banks and food rescue organizations.
Through this membership we have access to donated food from regional and
national food donors and share information and ideas with food banks and
food rescue organizations throughout the United States.
Locally sponsored food drives provide a major source of donated food
throughout the year. In particular, the National Association of Letter
Carrier’s Food Drive (held annually in May) supplies a vital source of
canned and dry donations at a time of year when the need is greatest.
While this is our major source of locally donated food by far, we accept
donations from local community food drives of all sizes. Food donors are protected in terms of liability by the
Bill Emerson Good Samaritan
Food Donation Act.
In the administration of government contracts, the Food Bank gains buying
leverage that it can use to purchase other food at favorable prices.
These savings are passed along to member agencies at wholesale cost plus a small handling fee.
Our goal is to be the lowest-cost supplier of these foods for
the benefit of our agencies.
Long Island Cares creates a weekly menus of foods based on its current
inventory of HPNAP, TEFAP, and Donated Food. The menus are available to agencies online and by fax, and agencies
can inquire about
food availability when they call to place orders. Once an agency
has placed an order, it is assigned a specific
delivery date and time depending on our regional schedule. Agencies requiring delivery more than twice a month
can request a
pick-up at the Long Island Cares’ warehouse. Please see
our Agency Relations page
for more details.