Long Island Cares, Inc., The Harry Chapin Food Bank has announced that it will be awarding small grants of up to $6,000 to local pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency food service providers as part of the regional food banks’ contract with the New York State Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). The grants support equipment purchases, supplies, utility costs and staffing for agencies that meet current guidelines of the HPNAP program. The awarding of the grants is determined by an advisory committee made up of Long Island Cares’ staff, Department of Health staff, and representatives of several local pantries and emergency food providers. HPNAP provides more than $2 million annually to Long Island Cares to purchase food and provide support services for more than 316,000 Long Islanders in need, through their member network.
According to Paule T. Pachter, Chief Executive Officer of Long Island Cares, “Although the major part of our HPNAP contract with New York State goes towards purchasing healthy food for distribution by our member network, the awarding of these small grants to support their operations to assist the hungry on Long Island is vital. This type of grant support that we provide is not duplicated by any other organization that provides similar services or refers to themselves as a ‘food bank or food rescue organization.’ Our member agencies are a critical link in our role as the Regional Food Bank and we are pleased and proud to be able to support them in this way.”
Kristine Lehn, Chief Network Officer for Long Island Cares pointed out that “HPNAP recognizes that there are many other costs involved in providing food assistance. It helps with refrigeration, freezers and shelving so that agencies can have access to fresh produce, frozen foods, and more shelf-stable food items. ”
Noelle Campbell, Coordinator with Gerald Ryan Outreach in Wyandanch was grateful for their past HPNAP funding. “HPNAP is not just for food, it is also beneficial for not-for profits like ours to sustain daily operations. It makes a huge difference in our program growth and without it our programs would remain stagnant.”
Long Island Cares has been successfully administering the New York State HPNAP program and the small grant program since 1994.