For media inquiries: Claire Fratello
Assistant to the CEO for Administration & Media Relations
631.582.3663 Ext 102
LONG ISLAND CARES INC. – THE HARRY CHAPIN REGIONAL FOOD BANK RESPONDS TO CORONAVIRUS COVID 19
PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO THE COMMUNITY DURING ITS IMPACT
Hauppauge, NY – March 16, 2020: Long Island Cares, Inc. – The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank continues to implement a number of actions and safety measures to assist the community during the current coronavirus pandemic. With schools in Nassau and Suffolk Counties closing for the next two-weeks, people concerned about leaving their homes, hundreds of homeless individuals living outside in the elements, and a general climate of heightened anxiety, the role of our regional food bank in providing emergency food to people in need is a critical component of our regional and statewide response to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ability to Provide Food to Children Impacted by School Closings and Those in Need:
Long Island Cares, Inc. will continue to rely upon messaging disseminated by Governor Andrew Cuomo, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and the New York State Department of Health to guide our response to this national emergency. We support the recent decision to require public schools to develop an immediate plan to insure that children eligible to receive free and/or reduced school breakfast and lunch have access to these meals through a “Grab-N-Go” distribution model provided at local school buildings. With our schools implementing these new practices, there will be limited need for Long Island Cares to deploy our food trucks to local school districts.
We support recommendations and actions taken by our elected officials to limit face-to-face contact with people who might be exhibiting signs of flu-type illnesses, and to follow recommendations for social distancing which will effect some of the operations of the regional food bank since, we often are called upon to distribute food to more than 50 people at one location. Due to the closing of our schools, our Kids Café and Pack it Up for Kids weekend meal programs have been suspended. We are concerned that the closing of these programs limit a child’s ability to access food as part of their afterschool programming and on weekends.
Long Island Cares provides several mobile outreach programs that deliver emergency food to seniors, veterans, children and the homeless. As we adhere to the request of our elected officials to practice social distancing and limit contact with people who might be at-risk for COVID-19, our staff has been instructed to use precautions such as wearing masks, gloves, sanitizing vehicles, and not having physical contact. Our mobile distributions will continue following these precautions and providing foods that are prepackaged only through our warehouse. We will also drop off food boxes to a person’s home as opposed to entering the home as an added precaution.
Long Island Cares to Distribute Food at Six Locations:
Long Island Cares operates satellite locations including, its own emergency food pantries at several community locations. The public is encouraged to visit the location closest to them if they are in need of food. To insure the safety of our staff and our limited number of volunteers, our satellite centers will serve 6 families at a time and limit the number of people in our waiting rooms. People in need are encouraged to call the Long Island Cares location closest to them to make an appointment, and to have food boxes delivered to their vehicle as we limit access to our sites. All of our locations are open during the following hours:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Tuesday-Thursday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Our staff will also be available to assist people at other times including, weekends by appointment only by calling (631) 582-3663 Ext 109. Our phones are being checked 24/7. For a complete listing of our local food pantries, soup kitchens and other programs visit: https://www.licares.org/find-help/food-locator.
Long Island Cares’ Locations:
Long Island Cares-The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank
10 Davids Drive – Harry Chapin Way, Hauppauge
Nassau Center for Collaborative Assistance
21 East Sunrise Highway, Freeport
South Shore Service Center
163-1 North Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst
Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center
220 Broadway, Huntington Station
Baxter’s Pet Pantry & Retail Food Rescue Center
161 North Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst
Hunger Assistance & Humanitarian Center of the Hamptons
286 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays
The Need for Volunteers:
Although as a practice we welcome and appreciate everyone willing to volunteer and assist us, the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic requires us to limit the number of new volunteers we can accommodate at this time to insure the health and safety of our staff and the many people we serve. We are exploring other options should the Governor make members of the National Guard available to assist the state’s food banks. If people would like to volunteer at another time, please complete our Volunteer Application Form online at: https://www.licares.org/make-a-difference/volunteer.
To Donate and Additional Questions:
We are extremely grateful to the many people and corporations that have contacted us to offer their assistance during this time of crisis. If you would like to donate, please contact our Development Department at (631) 582-3663 Ext 103 or visit our website at: www.licares.org. For non-emergency or additional questions, please email: [email protected] and allow 24-48 hours for a response.
About Long Island Cares, Inc. – 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.