Long Island Cares | Press Release

'Essential' market opens in Bethpage, aims to reduce stigma of coming to food bank

Long Island Cares opened a supermarket-style “boutique” of essentials in Bethpage on Monday aimed at reducing the stigma of going to a food pantry.

Located at 386 North Wantagh Ave., the “Essential Market” has aisles full of nonperishable and perishable goods, along with cooking demonstrations for people who pick up food and community rooms available for organizations in Hempstead Town and Nassau County, officials said.

“The essential market is an opportunity for us to tell the public who is food insecure and in need of support that you don’t have to be ashamed to go for help,” Paule Pachter, CEO of Long Island Cares, said at the opening.

The items come from stores such as Target and Costco as part of a retail rescue program to provide food to the public.

The Bethpage location, which Long Island Cares calls a “boutique market,” is the seventh site on Long Island. An eighth location is due to open in Hauppauge in a few weeks, Pachter said.

Long Island Cares has opened several distribution centers since the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020.

Speaking at the opening, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said helping secure food for people in need has been a mission for the county since the pandemic started.

“I think something that the COVID pandemic really showed everyone is that we’re just one step away, so many of our residents are just one step away from not being able to get a good meal, from not being able to feed their families,” Curran said.

Food insecurity on the Island has increased since the pandemic began. Island Harvest and Long Island Cares in 2020 saw demand rise by 72% and 83% from 2019.

Later this month, both food banks, through a new state initiative, will share $1.6 million to buy restaurant meals to feed those in need and help local restaurants.

Helping people in need is “not a one-year or two-year commitment,” said Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin.

“This has to be a long-term commitment by all municipalities for residents with businesses and chambers of commerce to work with Long Island Cares,” Clavin said.

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HAUPPAUGE, New York – June 14, 2021

Bruce Springsteen will return to Broadway beginning on Saturday, June 26 for a limited run of his acclaimed one-man show, and proceeds from the opening night performance will be shared among a select group of local charities including, Long Island Cares, Inc.-The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank.

“Springsteen on Broadway” – which had its genesis in a private performance at the White House in January 2017, in the closing days of the Obama administration – is a mostly solo show by Springsteen, drawing from his catalog of hits and his 2016 autobiography, “Born to Run.”  According to the New York Times, “The show weaves in stories from throughout Springsteen’s career, with insights into how he wrote songs like “Born in the U.S.A.” (His wife, Patti Scialfa, joins him in some songs).  The show was a blockbuster hit, selling $113 million in tickets and playing to a total of 223,585 fans. It was also filmed for a Netflix special of the same title, which went online shortly after the last performance in December 2018.”

The show will open on June 26 at the St. James Theater, at 246 W. 44th Street, and have additional performances through Sept. 4, according to an announcement. As of now, the show will be the first to open on Broadway since the pandemic shut down performances in March 2020. While some Broadway productions have set return dates as early as Aug. 4, most have targeted mid-September for their re-openings.  Although Broadway theaters and producers have said they plan to reopen their full lineup of shows after Labor Day, the speed of vaccination, and promising downward trend of coronavirus cases in the United States, have encouraged many performers and producers throughout the entertainment industry to move forward quickly.  According to the show’s announcement, audience members will be required to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination along with their tickets to enter the theater. Entry times will be staggered, and attendees will be required to fill out a Covid-19 health screening within 24 hours of the show.

According to Paule Pachter, Chief Executive Officer of Long Island Cares, “We are so proud to have been selected as one of the local charities to benefit from the opening night performance by Bruce Springsteen.  Bruce has been a long-time donor of Long Island Cares and is one of a select group of musicians who continue to carry on the work of Harry Chapin in raising awareness of hunger and food insecurity in the United States.  Following the nearly 15 months of activities we’ve been engaged in responding to an increase in food insecurity brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I can’t think of a more exciting way to mark our return to normalcy by celebrating the music and philanthropy of Bruce Springsteen on Broadway.”

Proceeds from Opening Night of Springsteen on Broadway at the St. James Theatre will be donated to a group of local New York and New Jersey charities including the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, Community Food Bank of New Jersey, Food Bank for New York City, Fulfill (Monmouth & Ocean Counties Food Bank), Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Food Bank, New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund and The Actor’s Fund.


About Long Island Cares, Inc.

Founded by the late Harry Chapin, Long Island Cares brings together all available resources for the benefit of the hungry and food insecure on Long Island and, to the best of our ability, provides for the humanitarian needs of our community. Our goals are to improve food security for families, sponsor programs that help families achieve self-sufficiency, and educate the general public about the causes and consequences of hunger on Long Island. Our vision is A Hunger Free Long Island.  Long Island Cares, Inc. – The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank has a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator as well as earning Guidstar’s Platinum Seal of Transparency.