Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about Long Island Cares, our programs, where you can find help or how you can help us fight hunger in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, NY? Chances are you’ll find the answer here in this list of frequently asked questions on:

  • Food Drives
  • How to Find Help
  • Information for Food Assistance Programs
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Fundraising

If you don’t find what you’re looking for, contact us and we’ll help you get the answers you need.

Food Drives

Does Long Island Cares supply boxes and posters for food drives?

Yes. We will supply your food drive with a Long Island Cares donation box and “hosting a food drive” posters. These collection boxes stand 3 feet tall and fit nicely in any corner. Each box holds 100 pounds, features the phrase “Food Donation Box” and displays our logo. Posters and a list of our most needed items are supplied with every box. To get boxes and posters, fill out the food drive registration form. Additional posters can also be downloaded.

Long Island Cares accepts more than just food. Should donations be sorted?

To make hosting a drive easy, you are NOT required to presort donations, although additional boxes can be supplied if you wish to sort as part of an incentive challenge or food drive goal. Please download our list of most needed items to find out what donations are accepted.

Is there a minimum pound requirement for donation pickup?

No. We do not require a minimum pound requirement for pickups from businesses, schools, supermarkets and community events that are unable to deliver the items to us. Donations can be dropped off at any of Long Island Cares’ three convenient locations in Hauppauge, Freeport and Lindenhurst.

How to Find Help

I need food. Can I get help? And where do I find it?

If you need help, you are eligible to receive food from our network of pantries and soup kitchens throughout Nassau and Suffolk Counties, NY, as well as our First Stop Pantries in Huntington Station, Freeport and Lindenhurst. Use our Food Locator to find the agency nearest you.

What type of identification will I need when I go to a pantry for help?

The very first time you visit the pantry, you should be assisted with an emergency bag. The program will then advise what information you need to bring when you visit again. Typically, meal sites don’t require you bring anything. Many food pantry sites ask you to bring something with your name and address on it, like a piece of ID, a utility bill or other official mail. Exceptions can often be made in special circumstances (e.g. not having a fixed address). No site should ask you to provide proof of income or a social security number in order to receive food. Again, it’s always best to call in advance so you can bring the right things when you visit the site and not waste a trip.

Information for Food Assistance Programs

I am serving hungry people now. How can I receive food from your food bank to help my clients?

You are welcome to join Long Island Cares as a member agency. We do have criteria that all organizations must first meet, including a location that food can be stored, a determination from the IRS that your organization is a 501(c)(3) organization, proof that you have been serving clients for at least six months, and that you are open to the general public or serving a special-needs population. Review our criteria or call 631-582-FOOD (3663) to see if you qualify.

Where can I learn more about food safety and get more information about how our clients should prepare the foods we receive from Long Island Cares?

Long Island Cares offers workshops every month covering topics such as Food Safety & Sanitation, Packing a Better Pantry Bag and Client Choice in both our Hauppauge and Freeport locations. We also hold workshops on your site for groups of 10 or more. For more information and a workshop schedule, go to Nutrition Resources & Recipes or call 631-582-FOOD (3663).

Volunteer Opportunities

How can I become a volunteer with Long Island Cares?

First, fill out a volunteer form. Once that information is received by our Volunteer Coordinator, you will be added to our volunteer email list and receive regular emails with all of our volunteer opportunities. If you find an opportunity that interests you, simply answer the questions at the bottom of the email and hit reply. If the opportunity is still available, we will respond by sending you an email confirmation.

What is the minimum age for volunteers?

We welcome volunteers as young as 7 years of age. However, all volunteers under the age of 18 will need a parent present to participate in all Long Island Cares volunteer opportunities.

I am a student and need community service hours for school, a religious organization, etc. Do you offer student volunteer opportunities?

Yes! If you are interested in volunteering with Long Island Cares for community service hours, just follow the general volunteer process guidelines. If you are in need of a community service letter, we will be happy to send you one. Just make sure that you provide the Volunteer Coordinator with your:

  • First and last name
  • Address
  • Name, date & time of all events you participated in with Long Island Cares.

Please keep in mind that letters can take up to 2 weeks to be provided. Please ensure you provide all of the information listed above, otherwise the volunteer coordinator will be unable to send your letter.

Do you have any group volunteer opportunities?

Yes. For more information on group opportunities and how your team and can get involved with Long Island Cares, please contact us.

I don’t have an email address. Can I still get involved with your organization?

Email is our main form of contact with volunteers, but we also can:

  • Mail the volunteer registration form to you. Simply fill it out and mail it back to us.
  • Mail our volunteer opportunities at your request. This request would need to be made each month.
How can I be removed from the volunteer email list?

Simply respond to any of our volunteer email blast by saying “Please remove me from the volunteer email list.” Please keep in mind that it can take up to 14 days to remove you from our system. We appreciate your patience in advance.


I want to hold a fundraising event for Long Island Cares. What do I have to do?

Thank you for your interest in supporting Long Island Cares by raising funds! We frequently receive heartfelt requests from individuals and organizations to host special events and contribute a portion of the revenues less out-of-pocket expenses (“percentage of net proceeds”) to us. We welcome these requests. Those interested in holding an event (“Third-Party Event”) for our benefit are advised to request a copy of our Third-Party Event Policy and prepare an informative plan for submission to Long Island Cares’ Special Events Manager.

This plan should contain the following information:

  • Intended date and location of event
  • Event concept
  • Whether the Long Island Cares logo will be used for any publicity or printed materials
  • Projected attendance
  • Anticipated funds generated
  • Other benefiting organizations, if any
  • Projected costs associated and methods of funding
  • Volunteer requirements
  • Any general requests being made to Long Island Cares, Inc.



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