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”.
When The Harry Chapin Food Bank began on Long Island in 1980, it served a mere handful of agencies in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York. Today, we distribute more than eight million pounds of food and supplies annually via over 590 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, group homes, day treatment facilities, senior nutrition sites and day care centers in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. These agencies, in turn, distribute the food and supplies to their clients and/or provide meals from the food received.
Long Island Cares also works to address the root causes of hunger through:
- Community outreach programs such as New Paths to Achievement and job training. These programs work with individuals most at risk of needing emergency food assistance during their lifetime, helping them acquire job skills and confidence, which are necessary to achieve self-sufficiency.
- Our Children’s Nutrition Programs, including the Kid’s Café After School Food and Mentoring Program, Pack It Up For Kids weekend food program, and Summer Food Service Program.
- Hunger Education, an important tool in the fight against hunger. We give presentations to schools, clubs, religious organizations and local community groups to help them understand why many people in the United States are hungry, and what organizations like Long Island Cares are doing to address the problem.
- Veterans’ Services, which offer a variety of support services to veterans and their families who might be experiencing difficulties returning to the workforce, financial hardships or food insecurity.