Real Stories. Real People. Real Difference.

Faces of Hunger

Read the stories from the neighbors and community members who have been helped by Long Island Cares.


We have a mission to end food insecurity and make a real impact on individual people’s lives. To see how you can help make a difference in your community click the link below.

Read the Stories

Who are the faces of hunger on Long Island?

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Persevering through adversity


Meet Tom.

A few years ago, he had a well-paying job in NYC, a big house, and a stable living situation with his wife and kids. Then, the unthinkable happened. He was struck by a vehicle while walking back to his train one evening after work.

The accident left him with severe injuries, including a broken back. It was so bad that his doctors wouldn’t even allow him to work a desk job for fear of aggravating the injury further. Today he spends much of his time at home, disabled, getting by with his monthly government checks. He uses Long Island Cares to support his family and get through hardships to save money wherever he can.

“If I pick up $40 worth of groceries from Long Island Cares, then that’s $40 I can put towards fixing a leaky faucet in my house or getting the kids an extra Christmas gift this year,” he said. He is just one of the 228,000 Long Islanders in need of food through no fault of their own.

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Giving Back to Long Island Vets


Meet Fred, a Marine veteran visiting Long Island Cares to feed himself and his father.

“Long Island Cares has become our lifeboat,” he happily shared. “If I save a dollar at Long Island Cares, that’s a dollar saved for the other needs in my life.”

Through the support of Long Island Cares, he gathers the strength to navigate life’s challenges, genuinely embodying the Marine motto of “Improvise, adapt, overcome.”

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Baxter's Pet Pantry


Meet Ilenia and her dog Arya, a pair brought together by fate.

Arya, who had been returned to shelters twice in her life, found hope when Ilenia decided to foster her. However, when COVID hit, Ilenia had to choose between adopting Arya or risking her life in a kill shelter. She chose to adopt, but providing for Arya became challenging.

With financial constraints, Ilenia discovered Baxter’s Pet Pantry at Long Island Cares. They provide quality dog food, easing the burden. Today, Arya thrives as a happy, loving family dog free from worry and food insecurity.

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A first-time Visitor


Meet Khatisier from Calverton, one of the faces of hunger on LongIsland.

Khatisier recently visited Long Island Cares for the first time ever. She says that before this year, she never had to make use of a food pantry, but because of rising grocery prices, it’s become a necessity to feed her three kids.

“I never wanted to use a pantry, but I’d do anything to feed my kids, and I’m glad Long Island Cares is helping me do that.”

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Client to Fundraiser


Meet Naomi, one of the (former) faces of Hunger on Long Island.

Throughout her life, Naomi has battled homelessness, job loss, and food insecurity.

But today, she proudly calls herself a Long Island Cares donor. She’s got her career on track and enjoys life with her two wonderful kids.

She regularly hosts fundraisers for whatever Long Island Cares needs as a way to give back to the food pantries that have helped her so much in the past.

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Battling Senior Hunger


Meet Nick, a 100 years young WWII veteran.

He’s a recipient of our Mobile Pantry program that delivers fresh groceries straight to the door of eligible vets and seniors across Long Island.

“I’m so thankful for Long Island Cares supporters and the organization for helping me live independently for so long,” he said with a smile.

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Military Appreciation Tuesdays


Meet Sal, a vet who makes use of Long Island Cares in Hampton Bays.

“I’m retired and my rent is very high. I dont have a big income so I have to watch every penny,” he said.

As a retired veteran, Sal is able to visit our Hampton Bays food pantry each week for Military Appreciation Tuesdays, shopping through the aisles like any other grocery store, chatting with our friendly staff, and always putting a smile on everyone’s faces.

To give back for the help he’s received, Sal likes to volunteer at his church and takes care of homeless residents in Riverhead, providing them with food, clothing, and other essentials.

Sal’s mission in life is to spread hope and kindness wherever he goes, and we couldn’t be happier to have him as a part of our family.

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Feeding the Family


Meet eight-year-old Gregory, one of the 65,000 kids battling food insecurity on Long Island.

When his mom lost her job during the pandemic, the two of them were forced to rely on Long Island Cares’ support for food assistance.

“I like to eat chicken, I eat rice, I eat watermelon, I eat shrimp!” he said when asked about his favorite pantry items.

“He likes to eat everything! He never has any complaints!” laughed his mom.

Because of our incredible donors, families like Gregory’s can continue to lead happy lives worry-free about where their next meal will come from.

For that, we’re incredibly thankful to YOU, our donors, for your support in the mission to end hunger on Long Island.


Board of Directors