(Long Island, NY) Long Islanders and political officials attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Long Island Cares, Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center on Friday, November 14th, 10am at 220 Broadway in Huntington Station. I had a chance to speak to Chief Executive Officer Paule T. Pachter about what the ribbon cutting event was really all about.
Tell my audience the history of Long Island Cares; how old is it?
Paule T. Pachter: This is our 34th year. It was founded by the late singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, who many of your audience may already know was a resident of Huntington. When Harry founded the organization he and his wife Sandy were pioneers in the food banking world because Long Island Cares was only the third food banking organization in New York State at the time.
We provide annually seven and a half million pounds of emergency food and other supplies to more than three hundred thousand Long Islanders who are either food insecure or living at or below the federal poverty level.
Long Island Cares Chief Executive Officer Paule T. Pachter and Entertainment Journalist Cognac Wellerlane at the Ribbon Cutting for the New Harry Chapin Food Bank and Humanitarian Center in Huntington Station on Friday, November 14th
It’s wonderful that your organization helps so many individuals but tell my audience why the ribbon cutting event is so important.
Paul: It is a very big event and it is an exciting event for us because we brought Long Island Cares into Huntington because this is where Sandy and Harry Chapin lived. This is where they raised their family.
I also had a chance to chat with Government Affairs and Veteran Services Manager Michael Haynes.
Tell my audience about the Veteran Services Program.
Michael Haynes: It is a pretty comprehensive program that we have developed over the last couple of years. We partnered with the county at events such as Veterans Stand Downs. In two weeks we will be distributing turkeys and the rest of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner to over a hundred veterans and their families. We also have a Veterans Development Program called Vets Work. In less than five and half months we helped ten veterans get jobs and we are working with about sixty others.
The Veterans Development Program assists veterans build job skills (i.e. cover letter and résumé writing), aid in their job search process and facilitate real workplace experience through various volunteer opportunities.
Military Appreciation Tuesdays is hosted every week at Long Island Cares’ pantries located in Huntington Station, Lindenhurst, and Freeport. This event is a chance for veterans and their families to obtain food, personal care items, household products, pet food, and school supplies. All veterans are provided with information and resources pertaining to veteran-specific benefits.
Long Island Cares, Inc. – The Harry Chapin Food Bank is Long Island’s first food bank assisting the poor and hungry on Long Island since, 1980. Long Island Cares gathers together all available resources for the benefit of the hungry on Long Island and provides emergency food where and when it is needed, and sponsors a wide variety of innovate direct service programs that help families achieve self-sufficiency. The organization was founded by the late singer, Grammy Award winning songwriter and social activist Harry Chapin in response to the growing issue of hunger on Long Island. It is continued today by his wife and partner Sandy Chapin, a dedicated Board of Directors and talented staff working out of their 35,000 square foot facility in Hauppauge and their storefront hunger assistance centers in Freeport and Lindenhurst. Long Island Cares is a member agency of the Food Bank Association of New York State and Feeding America. Long Island Cares, Inc. is recognized by the NYS Department of Health and the USDA as the regional food bank for Long Island.
For more information please visit http://www.licares.org