the Fall Issue:
'Family Tree' of Music
Hits The Road For
Two November Tributes
the Memory of
One Little Girl Has
Made a Difference
Run Against Hunger
and a Smile
Pay Off In a Big Way
Key To Success
For Esperanza Unida
Spirit With Celebrity
Cards While Helping WHY
To Make Multi-Purpose
Field A Reality
Motivate New Generation
of Hunger Fighters
to the Editor
'Long Island Cares'
Harry Chapin concert
Was Right: Long Island Needs 'Long Island Cares'
first glance, the new 35,000 square foot building in Hauppauge,
New York that bears Harry Chapin's name is a bit overwhelming. The
mammoth structure, and the number of people it serves -- more than
350,000 women, children, and men each year -- almost seem surreal.
just inside the front door of Long Island Cares, The Harry Chapin
Food Bank, a more human face of the battle against hunger on Long
of photographs of individual people line the walls in the office,
hallways, and the warehouse. Some feature the faces of the hungry
children, single moms, and the elderly, who rely on Long Island
Cares and its member agencies. Other pictures are of individuals
who've made a difference in the local fight against hunger, like
Harry and Sandy Chapin, Long Island Cares staff and board members,
agency representatives, and volunteers.
the photos create a mosaic of what Long Island Cares is all about
-- a community of people helping people -- one person at a time.
Needelman, Long Island Cares' executive director since 1991, remembers
the conversations she and Harry had about individual responsibility
when they worked together at the Performing Arts Foundation, a non-profit
arts organization in Huntington.
challenged me and he didn't let me off the hook; he didn't let me
give any silly excuses," said Needelman. "I didn't see my ability
at first and I certainly didn't feel as capable as he was. But he'd
say you don't have to end world hunger, you can end one person's
hunger, so get with it and do something."
of course, did something. While he served on the Presidential Commission
on World Hunger in the late 1970's, a Congressman suggested he tackle
hunger in his own back yard, on Long Island. Harry and Sandy, with
the support of World Hunger Year and others, immediately began rallying
community support. They teamed with business leaders, service organizations
and individuals to establish the vision for Long Island Cares.
on Long Island, who believe in our region, who believe there is
something truly unique here to preserve, to promote and to improve,
feel that it is not good enough to wait for others," Harry said
in a speech about the creation of Long Island Cares. "Very simply,
Long Island cares about those who are suffering and we are going
to do our best to do something about it. Long Island Cares will
serve as a last resort for hungry people on Long Island and the
first model of something that needs to happen all across America."
November of 1981, just a few months after Harry died, a small number
of dedicated individuals pulled together every available resource,
and Long Island Cares opened the doors of its first official home.
One of those dedicated individuals, Sandy Chapin, has been with
the organization ever since. "Sandy is the Chairperson of the Board
of Directors. She is always there," said Needelman. "She's there
with the vision and the ideas and her support, and we couldn't do
it without her."
years later, in 2001, Long Island Cares realized that it needed
to move into a new, larger home, in part to meet the growing numbers
of hungry people on Long Island. Sandy and Lynn, together with a
small group of board members and supporters, set out to raise more
than one million dollars to make it happen. The ensuing capital
fundraising campaign included a benefit dinner and tribute concert
in Harry's hometown, Huntington, NY.
the pre-concert dinner, Sandy opened up her home to hundreds of
Harry Chapin fans who traveled from across the country. Then, Harry's
brothers Steve and Tom Chapin, his daughter Jen, and other family
members, former band members and friends all donated their time
and talents for the concert. The combined efforts raised more than
$50,000 for the new building.
October, the organization opened the new food bank and named it
in Harry's honor -- The Harry Chapin Food Bank. Long Island Cares
now helps to feed more than 50,000 individuals every week through
its 597 member agencies: Kids Cafes (after school programs), food
pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, daycare centers, and
organization also helps people to become self-reliant through its
direct service programs.
of those programs, "New Paths to Achievement," provides low-income
single mothers with training on assertiveness, parenting, self-confidence,
dealing with cultural differences and stereotypes, domestic violence,
stress management, anger management, and vocational skills.
taught me how to prepare a resume, how to search for a job, how
to interview, and how to maintain a job," said a recent graduate
of the program, who asked not to be identified. "It helps me, and
it also helps my kids, because they learn that you have to work
to become self-sufficient." The single mother of four now helps
local food pantries in her community. "It feels great, because when
I really needed it, people helped me, so now I want to give back
to help other people," she said.
another program, Long Island Cares' community outreach team uses
the food bank's warehouse and front office to offer on-the-job training
to at-risk individuals in need of vocational or office skills as
they seek employment.
Lynum, a 20-year-old man from North Babylon, NY, has been learning
warehouse skills at the food bank since last November. "I learned
how to work with people and I'm getting good experience," said Lynum.
"It helped me to get a good full time job this Fall and I'm also
going back to school for fashion and design."
now armed with marketable skills and a healthy self-esteem, said
he'll soon be working at the local Target department store's warehouse
on weeknights from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. After he finishes his overnight
shift at work, he'll be attending vocational school from 7 a.m.
until 10:30 a.m. "I'll get some sleep after school," he said.
also plays a key role in Long Island Cares' mission. The "School
Tools" program provides school supplies to food pantries that redistribute
them to kids in need. It enables children from low income families
to start off the school year just like the rest of the kids in the
class -- with a new notebook and pencil.
organization also brings its own classes on the road, to businesses
and service organizations that want to learn more about hunger and
what they can do about ending it.
"Hunger 101" program features a role playing game, where audience
members experience a day in the life of a hungry person. "Someone
in the group plays a banker and denies the hungry person a loan
because they don't have enough credit," said Needelman. "Then the
person playing the role of the hungry person is challenged to search
for their next meal at a soup kitchen, only to find out it's closed
or they can't find transportation to get there."
said the class goes a long way in dispelling myths about hunger.
Fifty-one percent of the families that are coming for help at Long
Island Cares' member agencies have at least one member of the family
working, she noted.
many people are living on the slippery slope. They can be working
and their car breaks down, or they lose a job, or they have a sick
family member. One big thing can happen and they find themselves
in need," said Needelman. "So we shouldn't judge -- it can happen
to each one of us."
Needelman, executive director of Long Island Cares, greets
Bob Forney, president and CEO of America’s Second Harvest,
and Olympic gold medal skating champion Sarah Hughes. Hughes
lent her support to the 2003 National Association of Letter
Carriers “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.
to Help Long Island Cares
know is to care.
care is to act.
To act is to make a difference."
are many ways to help Long Island Cares continue its mission.
Below are a few upcoming opportunities; visit www.licares.org
for other ideas or to make an instant, on-line donation.
a Meal" On the Menu at Restaurants for October 16, 2003
Fifteen years ago, Sandy Chapin came up with the idea of
getting local restaurants to donate a percentage of their
receipts for one day to help fight hunger, and the annual
"Share a Meal" event on Long Island was born. Participating
restaurants are provided with promotional "table tents"
to place on their dining room tables in the weeks leading
up to the event, and each restaurant is listed in a promotional
ad in Long Island Newsday. Last year, 70 restaurants from
across Long Island supported the event.
Zadrozny, a restaurant owner and executive chef, has been
a supporter of "Share a Meal" since its inception. "Restaurants
from Hamptons all the way to Queens are committed to a common
event. That's a very uncommon thing and I feel very good
about that," she said. Zadrozny's newest restaurant, Mae
Browne's (named after her grandmother), in Huntington Station,
NY, is participating for the third consecutive year.
makes a lot of sense. Enjoy a great meal and share with
someone in need at the same time," she said.
year's "Share a Meal" is on Thursday, October 16, 2003.
Ask your favorite restaurant on Long Island if they're participating,
or pick up a copy of Long Island Newsday on October 16th
and look for the ad containing a list of participating restaurants.
Chapin Humanitarian Award Dinner Scheduled for November
Every year in November, Long Island Cares honors individuals
who've made a difference in the fight against hunger on
Long Island. The award is presented at a black-tie-optional
dinner dance that also includes a popular "silent auction"
featuring dozens of interesting items. This year's dinner
is on Thursday, November 20, 2003. For ticket information,
call (631) 582-3663, ext. 104.
Out Hunger Runs October - December, 2003
The 11th annual "Check Out Hunger" campaign is a partnership
between supermarkets, shoppers, volunteers, and Long Island
Cares. It runs in participating supermarkets across Long
Island from October through December. Look for the scannable
donation slips at the check-out register, and instantly
donate $1, $3, or $5. 100% of the contribution goes directly
to Long Island Cares.
supermarket chains on Long Island this year include Fairway,
Food Emporium, King Kullen, King's, Pathmark, ShopRite,
Waldbaum's and Wild By Nature.
Cullen, vice president of government and industry relations
for King Kullen Grocery Company, which has 48 stores, explained
why the Check Out Hunger program works so well. "We feature
it on our grocery bags and put it in our circular every
week during the program," he said. "Our customers have been
very generous, and in 2002, King Kullen raised $34,549 for
Long Island Cares through the Check Out Hunger program,"
are needed on Long Island to help set up materials in the
stores. Call (631) 582-3663, ext. 104.
Note: Local food banks in other parts of New York State
and in Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey also run Check
Out Hunger and would appreciate donations and support.
for the Next Issue of Circle! on December 7th