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The Mission of Long Island Cares is to bring together all available resources for the benefit of the hungry on Long Island. Long Island Cares provides emergency food where and when it is needed, sponsors programs that help families achieve self-sufficiency, and educates the general public about the causes and consequences of hunger on Long Island. According to Hunger in America, a comprehensive study of domestic hunger, an estimated 259,000 Long Island residents including nearly 93,000 children and 39,000 seniors are hungry.
Long Island Cares - the Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank was founded in 1980 by the late singer/activist Harry Chapin in response to the needs of hungry Long Islanders. Approximately 283,700 people on Long Island receive emergency food each year - 64,900 people every week.
Long Island Cares serves more than 374 member agencies operating 567 programs: food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, group homes, day treatment facilities, senior nutrition sites and day care centers. Long Island Cares is by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 69% of the food distributed by pantries, 39% of the food distributed by kitchens and 45% of the food distributed by shelters.
We also address the causes of hunger through Community Outreach Programs that work with individuals most at risk of needing emergency food assistance during their lifetime, helping them acquire job skills and confidence to make them self-sufficient. To help veterans facing financial hardship and food insecurity, Long island Cares also offers several focused veterans’ service programs.
Long Island Cares also helps families keep their pets at home - where they belong. Baxter’s Pet Pantry was developed in partnership with the Animal Relief Fund (ARF) making free pet food and pet supplies available to pet-owning families in need across Long Island. Baxter’s Pet Pantry also offers toys, pet clothes, feeding bowls, cat litter and other pet supplies.