At Long Island Cares, we strive to not only meet the immediate need for emergency food relief on Long Island, but also to eliminate the underlying root causes of hunger itself.
A year-round resource, Long Island Cares opened The Harry Chapin Food Bank in February 1980. The Food Bank receives, warehouses and distributes millions of pounds of donated and purchased food to residents of Nassau and Suffolk County, New York who are in need, via hundreds of member agencies: food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, group homes, day treatment facilities, senior nutrition sites and day care centers. In addition to the network of agencies supported through the Harry Chapin Food Bank, Long Island Cares helps get food and assistance into the hands of those in need via:
- Food Drives, which account for more than 12% of our annual distribution. A “drive” is the collection of most needed items for those in need. Our most needed items include non-perishable foods, pet food, school supplies, personal care items, healthy snacks, birthday party items, baby products, and seasonal items.
- Pet Pantry, which is operated in partnership with the Animal Relief Fund Inc. (ARF) and which makes pet food supplied by ARF and many pet food corporations available to pet-owning families in need.
- Our Mobile Services (MORE) Vans, which provide information, referral assistance and emergency food to people at times when their neighborhood pantries are not open in user-friendly locations such as libraries and shopping centers, and our Mobile Food Pantries, which provide home delivery to at-risk homebound individuals in need.
Long Island Cares also works to address the root causes of hunger through:
- Community outreach programs such as New Paths to Achievement and job training. These programs work with individuals most at risk of needing emergency food assistance during their lifetime, helping them acquire job skills and confidence, which are necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.
- Our Children’s Nutrition Programs, including the Kid’s Café After School Food and Mentoring Program, Pack It Up For Kids weekend food program, and Summer Food Service Program.
- Hunger Education, an important tool in the fight against hunger. We give presentations to schools, clubs, religious organizations and local community groups to help them understand why many people in the United States are hungry, and what organizations like Long Island Cares are doing to address the problem.
- Veterans’ Services, which offer a variety of support services to veterans and their families who might be experiencing difficulties returning to the workforce, financial hardships or food insecurity.
But there’s little we can do without the support of people like you. Find out how you can help Long Island Cares in our fight against hunger and make a difference in the lives of your neighbors.