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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 was founded in 1980 by the late singer/activist Harry Chapin in response to the immediate needs of hungry Long Islanders. It is continued today by his wife and partner Sandy Chapin. In the years since Harry left us, Long Island Cares has become an organized force of caring, dedicated people who are making a difference in the fight against hunger on Long Island.
The Food Bank receives, warehouses, and distributes millions of pounds of donated and purchased food from various sources to member agencies serving the needy population of Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The Food Bank serves more than 600 of these agencies: food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, group homes, day treatment facilities, senior nutrition sites and day care centers. Agency Relations is of vital importance for guiding, coordinating, and monitoring their food relief efforts.
Long Island Cares addresses the 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 to make them self-sufficient.