Working at Long Island Cares, people often ask us, “what does a food bank do?” It surprises a lot of us since Long Island Cares does so much, but if you aren’t regularly involved with a food bank, you might wonder the same thing.
At Long Island Cares, we have a long list of programs that help our neighbors get the support they need. For example, those who are not able to access their local community pantry can sign up for the Mobile Food Pantry, a service that brings groceries straight to your door. We also have Children’s Nutrition Programs, where we work with schools and also with existing after school programs–such as the Boys and Girls Club–to provide healthy meals and snacks.
Food banks bring people together by working with organizations of all kinds. We work with national and local manufacturers, donors, and farmers to bring food in. We then distribute that food to our member agencies, including soup kitchens and food pantries. In many ways we act as a connector, bringing people together to help them accomplish what they need to in their communities.
And the fuel that makes this engine run is our volunteer team. Having a steady stream of Long Islanders coming through our doors helps us stay connected to every community and connect those communities to each other.
On May 31, we had a stellar group of volunteers lend a hand at our local Farmer’s Market. Despite the rain and haze, it was a great morning filled with awesome agencies and volunteers. We brought in 62,000 lbs of fresh produce, 25% of which came from local Long Island farms. About 60 member agencies came out to pick up produce of their choice, which they then took back to their organization to be cooked and/or distributed to our Long Island neighbors in need.
If you were one of the volunteers who came out to lend a hand, words can’t express how grateful we are to have you. The volunteers are the ones who keep this organization thriving and we are #Blessed to have you. Thanks for all the hard work you do and for being a part of our community. And, if you are not already a volunteer but would like to be one, please take a look at our volunteer page and see how you can help our efforts.