HAUPPAUGE, NY – Friday, April 8, 2016 – Long Island Cares, Inc. has embarked on a new service to assist the many local pantries and other emergency food service providers that are members of the regional food bank with accessing additional fresh foods, vegetables and other perishable items directly from the Hauppauge warehouse. The new “Gus’s Groceries -Grab N’ Go!” corner boasts a complete wall of brand new glass door refrigerators that can be directly accessed by agencies able to pick up these types of products. The fresh foods in the cases are available to agencies in addition to their regularly scheduled deliveries from the food bank. This is all being done in an effort to make more fresh produce, meats, proteins and dessert items readily available to people utilizing the food pantry network. All the perishable products in the cases are donated to the food bank by more than 60 local retailers that support Long Island Cares’ store donation program including Best Market, Walmart, Target, Costco and Restaurant Depot.
“Dozens of our larger member agencies frequently visit our warehouse to avail themselves of additional food from our inventory in addition to receiving large pallets of products they have ordered during their scheduled deliveries,” said Kristine Lehn, Chief Network Officer. “Long Island Cares receives a large amount of perishable foods from our local corporate donors every day and these are foods that we basically rescue that must be consumed within a short amount of time. Having these products available for immediate pick up allows us to provide it to our agencies in a timely manner who in turn distribute to their clients in need very quickly,” said Lehn.
The new “Gus’s Groceries -Grab N’ Go!” area is maintained and stocked on a daily and weekly basis by volunteers at Long Island Cares in Hauppauge. “Our store donation program has been expanding as local retailers learn about the food bank and our ability to turn their donations around immediately to assist people in need,” said Peter Braglia, Chief Operations Officer. “We’ve seen an increase in store donations of excellent, sought-after products that our member agencies appreciate having, such as fresh vegetables, spices, and dairy products. These are the types of products that we, as a rule, don’t see a lot of so we are grateful to our donor-partners for helping us bring these foods to those struggling in our communities.”
Long Island Cares’ staff and volunteers pick up donations from retailers on a daily basis and return them to the warehouse where they are quickly sorted and evaluated according to food safety standards. A total of 6,788 pounds of fresh food donations have been provided to local agencies since the new service was launched in February. For more information about Long Island Cares’ “Gus’s Groceries -Grab N’ Go!” or to learn about how your business can participate in the store donation program call (631) 582-3663 x 112.