Long Island Cares, Inc., The Harry Chapin Food Bank is right on target having achieved its goal of serving 7,000 children through their mobile children’s breakfast food trucks in the first year of operation. The food trucks have assisted 9,494 children in just the first sixteen months of launching this innovative program to address children’s food insecurity on Long Island.
The regional food bank rolled out its first food truck on August 29, 2015 as a result of receiving a generous grant from Island Federal Credit Union. A second food truck was completed in May 2016 when the organization received a grant from The Knapp Sweezy Foundation. Both trucks were donated to Long Island Cares by Purolator International and additional private support was provided by United Way of Long Island, Stop and Shop, Chase and The Harry Chapin Foundation. During the summer rollout at Island Federal Credit Union in Hauppauge, Long Island Cares’ CEO, Paule Pachter stated that the organization was hopeful that the trucks would be able to provide a healthy, grab-n-go breakfast to 7,000 children at risk for food insecurity within the first year of operations.
According to a recent report by Feeding America, there are 89,000 children on Long Island considered to be food insecure.
Long Island Cares’ children’s breakfast food trucks collaborate with dozens of local organizations that provide emergency food to families in need through the regional food bank’s network of member agencies. The trucks provide a ready-to-eat meals consisting of cold cereals, low-fat milk, snack bars, fresh fruit, juice and yogurt cups for children when schools are closed and the children don’t have access to the free or reduced school meals program. The trucks have collaborated with partner agencies in Brentwood, Westbury, Hempstead, Wyandanch, Bellport, Lawrence, Amityville, Riverhead, and other communities that have a high concentration of at-risk children. According to Dr. Jessica Rosati, Chief Program Officer at Long Island Cares, “The food trucks have exceeded expectations due to the cooperation we receive from our member agencies and local communities. There has been great interest in our mobile model of providing a healthy breakfast for children with the introduction of the two food trucks that the children are excited to see and the caring way that our staff assists them. By bringing these meals to children in their local communities we’ve made it easier and created a more enjoyable way in which we can feed children experiencing food insecurity.”
For more information about the Mobile children’s Breakfast Food Trucks and other programs provided by Long Island Cares visit www.licares.org or call (631) 582.FOOD.