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Long Island food banks lend a hand amid school closings

With schools closed in Nassau and Suffolk for at least the next two weeks, Long Island food banks are playing a critical role providing food to children and families impacted by the coronavirus health crisis.

Long Island Cares – The Harry Chapin Food Bank and Island Harvest Food Bank have been ramping up their operations and asking for donations from the public as demand for food grows for Long Islanders who rely on school meals.

Long Island Cares is offering food assistance for families with school children through its ‘Mobile Breakfast Food Trucks’ and set up a webpage that allows users to purchase and donate goods to help keep the trucks stocked.

Long Island Cares is implementing additional safety precautions and social distancing practices for its various mobile outreach programs, which deliver emergency food to seniors, veterans, children and the homeless. Boxes of food, which are prepackaged exclusively at the organization’s warehouse, will be dropped off at the door.

Long Island Cares also provides pet food for cats and dogs at Baxter’s Pet Pantry, its satellite location in Lindenhurst.

Island Harvest is continuing to provide food to its various member agencies at its Hauppauge and Uniondale distribution centers using a drive-through-only model, where staff will bring products and supplies to its member agencies’ vehicles to maintain social distancing. Island Harvest is also taking additional health and safety precautions in accordance with recommendations from public health experts.

“Direct delivery service to specifically targeted populations serving children, senior citizens, and veterans will continue as usual and are reviewed on an ongoing basis,” Island Harvest CEO Randi Shubin Dresner said in a statement on Monday. Shubin Dresner says the organization is working closely with local officials and school districts to address the needs of Long Islanders requiring food assistance and students who rely on their school’s meal programs.

Island Harvest has also started a fundraiser to raise money to provide emergency response food, setting a target goal of $250,000.

“Island Harvest is poised to meet the challenges presented by this unprecedented public health crisis while supporting the 300,000 Long Islanders who struggle with hunger and food insecurity every day.”

For more information or to donate money:

Island Harvest: or visit

Long Island Cares: or call 631-582-3663 (ext. 103).

For more information about Island Harvest Food Bank and food assistance programs, please call 631-873-4775.

Long Island Cares locations

Town of Babylon:
Baxter’s Pet Pantry & Retail Food Rescue Center
161 North Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst • (631) 991-8106

South Shore Service Center
163-1 North Wellwood Avenue, Lindenhurst • (631) 991-8106

Town of Hempstead:
Nassau Center for Collaborative Assistance
21 East Sunrise Highway, Freeport • (516) 442-5221

Town of Huntington: Huntington Station
Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center
220 Broadway, Huntington Station • (631) 824-6384

Town of Islip / Town of Smithtown:
Long Island Cares – The Harry Chapin Food Bank
10 Davids Drive – Harry Chapin Way, Hauppauge • (631) 582-3663

East End:
Hunger Assistance & Humanitarian Center of the Hamptons
286 West Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays • (631) 613-3344

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