Items You Didn't Know

a Food Bank Distributes

It’s a fact that Long Island Cares supplies our food-insecure community with wholesome, nutritious food to ensure that everyone can fill their dinner table.

But maybe you didn’t know Long Island Cares provides much more than food.

We have a saying around here – “It takes more than food to feed the hungry.” When you’re facing food insecurity, chances are you are struggling with more than where your next meal is coming from.

So, in order to help people defy poverty and battle hunger at the root, we must provide other things people need besides a meal.

So, besides food, what do we provide?

First, there are household supplies. You’ve probably noticed that groceries aren’t the only items getting more expensive these days. Detergents, cleaners, dish soap, and more are rising in price every day.

We need to clean ourselves and our homes almost as much as we need to eat. So, why not provide other essentials folks need? When people visit our pantries, supplies are available to help ease the burden of shopping. We want to help them spend their hard-earned money on things such as rent and bills.

We also offer toiletries. Toilet paper, tissues, paper towels. Name it, and we supply it! Just another group of items we all need but might not be able to afford.

Long Island Cares also accepts donations of hygiene items, which we use in both our pantries and life-changing programs such as Hope for the Homeless. We assemble hygiene packs with toothbrushes/toothpaste, washcloths, feminine products, and more that we give to our homeless neighbors.

So, what about kids? I’m glad you asked! Long Island Cares donors are so generous that we receive donations of food and items such as toys, books, school supplies, and backpacks any kid would want.

And I must say, from first-hand experience, seeing a kid’s eyes light up at the pantry when they find a new book or school supplies makes one fuzzy inside and incredibly thankful for our donors and the fantastic community of Long Island.

There are other items we provide that have been in the news a lot, too. I’m talking about diapers and baby formula.

Two incredibly important items. Two incredibly EXPENSIVE items.

In a baby’s first year, they will go through 1,500-1,800 diapers. That translates to upwards of $3,000! When most of the households we serve earn under $50,000 a year, you can imagine how massive an issue diapers can be. And remember, that’s the number for just one baby.

Now, add those costs with formula. Formula can add another $1,000-$2,000 per child to a family’s expenses. That makes it much harder to make ends meet.

We’ve all seen the empty store shelves. You see them and think that not only can’t you get the brands you prefer, but now you must worry about how you will feed your child. It’s a horrible situation and one we try our best to remedy.

We’ve worked with local and national organizations such as Baby2Baby to collect donations and make purchases of diapers to keep Long Island babies happy. Our warehouse purchases as much formula as possible to feed the growing demand. There is ALWAYS something Long Island Cares is doing to secure these essential items for growing families.

And there you have it. Providing food is essential, but so are the items mentioned above.

So, the next time you’re collecting cans of food to donate, consider picking up toilet paper, a cute kid’s book, and a container of formula.

Your actions can be the difference-maker for a family in need. You can be the reason they don’t have to choose between formula and the heating bill this winter.

Remember, “It takes more than food to feed the hungry.”


The State of Food Insecurity on Long Island