HAUPPAUGE – Long Island Cares, Inc. – The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank announced that in 2015 it distributed 3,021,528 pounds of emergency food to Long Islanders in need which was provided through their contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Food commodities are made available by the USDA to the nation’s food banks to support the poor and hungry, as well as to support local emergency response efforts during times of crisis. Long Island Cares, Inc. has been awarded the contract to administer the TEFAP funds which are approved by Congress, for most of the organization’s 36 year history as the regional food bank.
“The Emergency Food Assistance Program is a very important source of food for the more than 200 food banks across the country in order to meet our missions,” said Paule Pachter, Long Island Cares’ Chief Executive Officer. Farmers and food manufacturers across the country produce food to support the government’s effort to feed the hungry, those living in poverty, and to support local relief efforts during a disasters such as Super Storm Sandy on Long Island and Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. “The TEFAP commodities are made available to our 577 member agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, and our own community-based satellite centers in Freeport, Lindenhurst and Huntington Station,” said Kristine Lehn, Chief Network Officer for Long Island Cares, Inc. “Our member agencies order the food commodities from our available menu and it’s provided to the more than 316,000 people on Long Island including, 70,000 children that are struggling with food insecurity and hunger on a daily basis. The 3 million pounds of TEFAP food that we distributed last year equates to 2,380,952 meals provided to our neighbors in need,” explained Lehn.
In addition to emergency food, the USDA provides Long Island Cares, Inc. with the necessary funding to manage the program which all members of the Long Island Congressional Delegation have advocated for and historically supported. Types of the foods offered by Long Island Cares through the USDA include cereals, canned fruits, canned beans, soups, shelf stable milk, juices, and proteins such as peanut butter and fresh proteins such as chicken. Overall Long Island Cares distributed over 7 million pounds of food to Long Island in 2015. For more information about Long Island Cares or to locate your nearest resource for emergency food, please contact (631) 582-FOOD or log onto www.licares.org.
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