Interfaith Nutrition Network
|Headquarters||211 Fulton Street
Hempstead, New York
|Long Island, New York|
|14 Soup Kitchens, 3 Emergency Shelters, 1 Long-Term Housing Program, 1 Veteran Housing Program|
|Board of Directors|
The INN (Interfaith Nutrition Network) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Long Island, New York. The INN is the largest organization that fights hunger and homelessness on Long Island. The INN is a volunteer-based organization with volunteers who help coordinate the donations and distributions of food, clothing, and toiletries to those they serve. It is estimated that the INN feeds about 5,000 Long Islanders each week.
The INN was founded as a single soup kitchen in Hempstead, NY in 1983 by a small group of volunteers who were concerned about the state of hunger on Long Island. The main orchestrator of the creation of this first soup was Patricia O’Connor, a mother of nine, and Michael Moran, then a Chaplain at Hofstra University. Thirty people responded to Pat and Michael’s call for volunteers to create this first soup kitchen in Hempstead. Jean Kelly was one of the thirty who responded to that initial call and now resides as the Executive Director of The INN. As success of the first soup kitchen spread through word of mouth, other Long Islanders became passionate about opening more soup kitchens in their own towns. From its inception, The INN has relied on interfaith communities and connections and remains unbiased towards religion, race or ethnicity.
In 1984, volunteers realized that hunger wasn’t the only problem they could strive to fix, but homeless too. The INN responded to this problem by opening its first emergency shelter. This year marked a change for The INN going from a few soup kitchens to a comprehensive organization that could aid the hungry and homeless throughout Long Island in a variety of ways. The INN now operates 14 soup kitchens, 3 emergency shelters and one long-term housing program. Each year, The INN hosts an INNkeepers’ Ball in order to honor those who have donated their time and resources to The INN and to raise awareness as well as funds for the organization. At the last INNkeepers’ Ball, over $1 million was raised.
The INN offers five services:
- Soup Kitchens: The INN currently operates 14 soup kitchens in 21 locations across Long Island. Soup kitchens are available for those who are in need of immediate food.
- Emergency Housing: The INN operates three emergency housing shelters. Two of these shelters provide housing for homeless families and one for men who are temporarily experiencing homelessness. The INN works with the Nassau County Department of Social Services in order to find appropriate housing and achieve the goal of permanent housing for those in need.
- Long-Term Housing: By working with families who are experiencing homelessness, The INN is able to provide families with homes and resources in order to reach goals of self-sufficiency and independence.
- Veteran Housing: Specific to veterans who have completed substance-abuse rehabilitation programs, The INN aids veterans experiencing homelessness by working with local veteran support groups. Funding for this program is provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- Supportive Services: Along with providing food and shelter to those in need, The INN also supplies Long Islanders with counseling and case management, tenancy and home management, and educational tutoring for children and parents as well as vocational training.
In 2010, Howitt Middle School in Farmingdale, NY held a dance marathon fundraiser and was able to raise $10,167 which they donated to The INN. In 2011, Ice Girls from the New York Islanders hockey team supported a food drive in Mineola by volunteering their time to help collect food and greet passersby. In 2013, Walmart donated $75,000 to The INN in order to aid Long Islander’s during the holiday season. During that season, Walmart donated a total of $1 million to food pantries and soup kitchens across New York State.
- "About The INN". The INN.
- “INN Raises over $1 Million at INNkeepers’s Ball”, “New York Nonprofit Press”, New York, 20 May 2013. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.
- Figueroa, Laura. “Walmart gives $75G to Hempstead's Interfaith Nutrition Network ”, “Newsday”, New York, 30 November 2013. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.
- Alfano, Peter. “A Gift for the Needy: Lunch”, “New York Times”, New York, 17 July 1983. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.
- Al-Mulim, Aisha. “Interfaith Nutrition Network gets $20G Grant”, “Newsday”, New York, 1 January 2013. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.
- Damiano, Justin. “Interfaith Nutrition Network sees rising need on Long Island”, “Long Island Report”, New York, 4 January 2014. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.
- “Programs”, “The INN”, New York, 2011. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.
- “Getting ‘INNvolved’ in Year Two...”, “Howitt Dance Marathon ”, New York, 2010. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.
- Ryan, Ken. “Islanders’ Ice Girls Help Out at Mineola Food Drive”, “Mineola Patch ”, New York, 23 January 2011. Retrieved on 13 January 2014.