Shine A Light For Charity On The INN

L.I.G.H.T. FOR CHARITY (‘Long Island Giving Help Together For Charity’) is my column where I shine a light on a different Long Island-based charity each month. For this column, I focus on The INN, which is a not-for-profit volunteer organization that seeks to transform lives by addressing hunger, homelessness and profound poverty through awareness, action and generosity.
The INN was founded in 1983 as a single soup kitchen run out of a church in Hempstead by a small group of concerned volunteers. As other communities throughout Long Island witnessed the success of The INN’s work in Hempstead, it became clear that more work was needed on a broader scale throughout Long Island to address the needs of the hungry. Volunteers then formed an interfaith network of soup kitchens to feed the hungry throughout Long Island.
The volunteers at The INN quickly learned that dealing with hunger is only one of several problems facing soup kitchen guests. For example, many of the adults and children who visit The INN are also struggling with homelessness. The INN has therefore expanded its range of services and has grown to become the largest private social service agency of its kind on Long Island.
The INN operates the largest soup kitchen on Long Island, which serves hot and cold nutritious sit-down meals and to-go meals (100 Madison Ave., Hempstead, NY, M F 9 a.m.-2 p.m.). The soup kitchen serves over 300,000 meals annually, and also distributes other essential provisions to its guests such as pantry bags, clothing, toiletries and baby items.
The INN also operates a Center for Transformative Change, located immediately adjacent to the soup kitchen. This Center assists guests of the soup kitchen to improve their life circumstances and/or become self-sufficient. The Center offers free clothing (including business attire for job interviews) and housewares, and assists guests with access to resources such as government benefits, housing/shelter placements and employment. The INN provides even more services helping those in need, including provision of emergency shelters (one family shelter and one shelter for single men, both of which are open 24/7), and provision of long-term housing.
If you’d like to help The INN, you can do so by donating funds, donating goods (for example, food, diapers and other personal care items) or volunteering time. For more information, please visit The INN’s website at

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