In 2009, Long Island Cares, Inc. opened our very first community-based satellite location in the Village of Freeport. Our goal was to expand opportunities for individuals experiencing food insecurity to access emergency food and other resources in a “one-stop” location that was easily accessible by public transportation, highly visible within the community, and that would provide additional services and supports that persons struggling with hunger and food insecurity could benefit from. In the past nine years, we have opened two additional satellites in the Village of Lindenhurst and Huntington Station that serve nearly 6,000 each month. In addition, they have also provided 440,412 meals for Long Island families in need.
Each of our satellite locations offer visitors the opportunity to select healthy foods from our client-choice First Stop Food Pantries to feed their families. In addition, we provide visitors with personal care products, household supplies, pet food, new clothing primarily for infants and toddlers, information about other resources and entitlement programs, career development services, and educational workshops hosted in each locations’ conference rooms. Each of our satellite locations is staffed by at least one, full-time staff person who is joined everyday by local community volunteers that welcome our visitors and assist them in shopping in our pantries. Currently, several allied organizations visit our three satellite centers on a weekly or monthly schedule to meet with our visitors and provide them with additional services that address the root causes of hunger, and to improve their ability to become more self-sufficient. Among the partner organizations working alongside our staff and volunteers are: the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island, United Healthcare, Nassau/Suffolk Hospitals Council, NYS Department of Health, Literacy Nassau, Emblem Health, PSEG Long Island, and Northwell Health.
Each of our satellite centers are also home to some of Long Island Cares’ specialty programs. Freeport and Lindenhurst house our Student Volunteer Corps, providing opportunities for high school and college students to volunteer with The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank and in some of our member agency pantries and soup kitchens. Lindenhurst is also home to our Job and Career Development Program and our Emergency Response and Recovery Services Program, and Huntington Station is home to our Vets Work, Veterans Services Project, and The Chapin Center for Social Policy. The three satellite centers are an extension of our main facility in Hauppauge where the regional food bank and our warehouse and distribution center is located.
By the time you read this column, Long Island Cares will have opened our fourth satellite location, also located in Lindenhurst. The new Long Island Cares Annex will be home to Baxter’s Pet Pantry, a free- standing pet pantry sponsored by VCA Charities in addition to Jazzy’s Place, offering organic pet food for dogs and cats sponsored by the Caplan Bensley Foundation. The Annex will also house Gus’s Retail Food Rescue Center, providing perishable food received from 80 retailers and made available for pick up by our south shore member agencies. For Long Islanders facing food insecurity, Long Island Cares now offers five locations, open at least five-days-a-week to serve them better.
THE LONG ISLAND CARES NETWORK OF LOCATIONS:
Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank, 10 Davids Dr., Hauppauge – (631) 582-FOOD
South Shore Service Center, 163-1 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst – (631) 991-8106
Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center, 220 Broadway, Huntington Station – (631) 824-6384
Center for Collaborative Assistance, 21 E. Sunrise Highway, Freeport – (516) 442-5221
Baxter’s Pet Pantry/Retail Rescue Center, 161 N. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst – (631) 991-8106