Bethpage pantry, Long Island Cares. (Photos courtesy of Long Island Cares)

Bethpage Steps Up For Volunteer Month (And Every Month)

April is National Volunteer Month, and what better time to get involved in local, community charity efforts? Luckily for Bethpage residents, you are usually only a stone’s throw away from an organization doing great work.

Lorraine Jewel, volunteer from Bethpage.

For one volunteer, working with Bethpage’s LI Cares — The Harry Chapin Food Bank — has been life-changing. “I’ve been a volunteer at LICares in Bethpage for about one year now,” said Lorraine Jewell. “I decided once I retired from my position as a Project Manager at Lencore, I would dedicate some time to Harry’s Food Bank, and I’m loving every moment of it!” For many years, Jewell volunteered with her daughter. When her daughter moved away and Jewell retired, she realized it was her time to shine solo and really invest in the volunteer work that meant so much to her.

“I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am to be part of the team,” she said. Through volunteering, Jewell has met and helped an array of food insecure individuals across Long Island. “The people coming in for food have shared stories of their hardships be it breast cancer, the loss of their jobs or their spouse, or general illnesses that keep them from having financial stability… We put smiles on faces that needed hope, we gave hugs to those who needed a sense of security, we gave thanks to many of our Veterans who gave us freedom.”

What has really won her over is LI Cares’ dedication to neighbors and local families. “I am proud to say, LI Cares has an amazing group of workers and volunteers with the right mindset to help others regain a sense of pride by lending an ear, or with a warm gentle smile a few kind words to lift one’s spirit! Many of us volunteers walk away at the end of our work shift with such pride that we gave out more then food.”

The Harry Chapin Food Bank has been on a mission to feed Long Island’s food insecure and put an end to the root causes of hunger since our founding by the late Harry Chapin in 1980. Their mission to bring together available resources for the benefit of the hungry and food insecure on Long Island has allowed for the distribution of 14 million pounds of food — the equivalent of 11.5 million meals — in 2022 alone. It is more important now than ever to look around and consider your community; more friends, families and neighbors may be impacted by food security than you think.

Interested in getting involved in other ways? Curious what local resources are available for you or someone you know? Here are some events organized by — or in partnership with — LI Cares.

Will Sing For Food:
Will Sing For Food is a musical group that performs a series of charity concerts created with the purpose to raise money for the food insecure and hungry on Long Island. Founded in 2011 as a single concert, and after tremendous support and success, Will Sing has developed into many concerts and special events throughout the year. Performing an eclectic mix of music, the Will Sing team aims to bring people together for charity events that highlight the joy and fun of community. “There’s a real need to help the food insecure. If we can do it even in a small way with a concert, spread some joy, spread the word, that’s what we’ll do,” said co-founder Andrew Morreale. A few years ago, the organization formally partnered with LI Cares, which was, according to Morreale, the perfect pairing. To date, Will Sing has raised over $300,000 to help combat hunger on Long Island.
Their next concert will be held on August 3rd at Clovis Point Vineyard, 1935 Main Road, Jamesport, NY 11947.

NY Citizen Preparedness Training:
With severe weather events becoming more frequent and more extreme, it is more important than ever that New Yorkers are prepared for disasters. The NY Citizen Preparedness Training Program teaches residents to have the tools and resources to prepare for any type of disaster, respond accordingly, and recover as quickly as possible to pre-disaster conditions. This training course will provide an introduction to responding to a natural or man-made disaster. Participants will be advised on properly preparing for any disaster, including developing a family emergency plan and stocking up on emergency supplies. Each family that attends will receive one Preparedness kit.
When: Tuesday, April 30 (10:00 am and 6:00 pm)
Where: Long Island Cares, 10 Davids Dr., Hauppauge.
To register and for additional information, visit

Brentwood Mobile School Pantry:
Are you in need of emergency food? Brentwood School District is partnering with Long Island Cares to bring emergency food, fresh produce and frozen meat every month to the following schools. (Please note that this distribution is only for families in the Brentwood School District.) Monday: May 13th and June 17th at East Elementary School, 50 Timberline Drive, Brentwood, NY 11717. From 5pm – 6:45pm. Friday: April 19th, May 17th, and June 21st at Oak Park Elementary School, 775 Wisconsin Avenue, Bay Shore, NY 11706. From 5pm – 6:45pm.
En espanol: ¿Necesita alimentos de emergencia? El Distrito Escolar de Brentwood está trabajando en asociación con Long Island Cares para traerle alimentos de emergencia, frutas, verduras y carnes congeladas cada mes. La distribución será en estas escuela. (Tenga en cuenta que esta distribución es solo para familias en el Distrito Escolar de Brentwood.) Lunes: el 13 de Mayo y el 17 de Junio en East Elementary School, 50 Timberline Drive, Brentwood, NY 11717. De 5pm – 6:45pm. Viernes: el 19 de Abril, el 17 de Mayo, y el 21 de Junio en at Oak Park Elementary School, 775 Wisconsin Avenue, Bay Shore, NY 11706. De 5pm – 6:45pm.

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