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A local food bank opened a new location Monday in Bethpage to help feed the increasing number of Long Islanders struggling to keep food on the table amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Long Island Cares – The Harry Chapin Regional Food Bank, which dubbed its latest satellite location a “super pantry,” is modeled after an ordinary supermarket.

“This new and first of its kind storefront super pantry will allow the public the option to pick the foods they choose in a safe and user-friendly environment,” the nonprofit said in a statement. “The location is COVID safe and participants will make their desired selections and the product will be safely packed on site by a Long Island Cares employee.”

With 18 emergency pop-up food distribution sites and five satellite locations across Nassau and Suffolk counties, Long Island Cares is one of the largest nonprofits dedicated to fighting food insecurity in the region.

Such groups have seen a dramatic increase in demand due to rising unemployment sparked by the COVID-19 crisis and an ensuing economic downtown. Long Island Cares reports in the past four months, 74,000 people have visited a food bank for the first time ever, adding to the nearly 260,000 Long Islanders that relied on local food banks annually before the pandemic.

At the new food bank location, clients will have access to pet, personal, household, and nutritious nonperishable and frozen food items. Each family will receive a minimum three-day supply, or a total of nine meals. The pantry is open to the public to use once per month.   

The new food bank is located at 386 N. Wantagh Ave. in Bethpage. It is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Related Story: Despite Progress, Homelessness and Hunger Persist on Long Island

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