What is an Outreach?
Our Food Outreaches take place outdoors (rain or shine, all year) for one hour on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday.
Lighthouse Mission box trucks go out stocked with emergency food, clothes & other necessities. At each outdoor location, staff and volunteers unload and set up the boxes / bags of food / clothes / etc., have a brief volunteer orientation meeting, & open in prayer. Then a Gospel message of love, grace, and hope is spoken to encourage attendees at our outreaches. Those who gather are invited (but never required) to listen.
Outreach staff pray with and counsel those who ask for help. Attendees are then invited to receive food. As they pass through the line, we speak to the people in need, offering encouragement. At the end of the hour, the staff and volunteers pack up any leftovers in the truck, clean up our outdoor site, close in prayer, and return to the Lighthouse Mission headquarters.
Because many local children rely on free school lunches during the school year, Lighthouse Mission offers nutritious meals for children who attend our Outreaches with their parents when school is closed for the Summer months.
**Please Note: Lighthouse Mission is NOT a Soup Kitchen. We DO NOT serve cooked meals.
Food Outreach Locations
Anyone can attend Lighthouse Mission's daily Food Outreaches. You do not need paperwork or to sign up in advance to receive food. Our Outreaches are held outdoors ALL YEAR LONG, rain or shine. Please dress appropriately for the weather. All addresses below are approximate, because our programs occur in public parking lots. Look for our Truck when you arrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Lighthouse Mission a Soup Kitchen?
No. We CANNOT serve cooked meals at Lighthouse Mission. We are a Mobile Food Pantry with outdoor outreach locations across Long Island. At each outreach we give out canned goods, bread, produce, and more.
Who Qualifies for Help from Lighthouse Mission?
We help anyone who is in need regardless of where you live, your income level, race, age, religion, or sexual orientation.
Will I Need to Bring ID to Receive Food?
No. All people who attend our outreaches are welcome to receive food free of charge, and are not required to bring forms verifying that they are in need. We simply ask that you sign our "attendance book" for the day to help us know how many people we were able to feed.
How Should I Dress when Attending an Outreach?
Please dress prepared for the outdoor weather - hot or cold - for one hour. You will be outside for the duration of the outreach. Ladies, please dress modestly. Please do not wear anything revealing or costly jewelry. Men, please do not wear anything with offensive images or words. Please wear solid and comfortable footwear, as you will be outdoors.
What if the Weather is Really Bad? Will Lighthouse Mission Cancel an Outreach?
Lighthouse Missionaries serve in ALL sorts of weather - rain, snow, heat, or cold, we go out to share the Gospel of Jesus & feed the poor. In the event of snow storms, hurricanes, or other severe weather, Lighthouse Mission may be forced to cancel an outreach. Please check Lighthouse Mission's website or Facebook Page for weather alerts.
What Type of Food Donations Do You Accept?
We accept non-perishable food items (canned goods, pastas, cereal, bottled water, etc.), meats (hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, turkeys, etc.), dairy products, and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Please DO NOT bring any cooked food or leftovers, as we are not a soup kitchen.
Do You Accept Clothing?
Yes! We accept new and gently used clothes of any sort, size, and season. Please bring all clothing donations to our building. We are open weekdays 9:00am-4:00pm. we also have a donation box for after-hours donations located outside of our building.
Do You Accept Furniture or Used Toys?
No. Unfortunately, our warehouse is not big enough to accommodate any donations other than food and new or gently used clothing.
Can You Pick Up a Donation at My House?
No. We do not have staff to pick up donations from your home. Please bring all donations to Lighthouse Mission's building in North Bellport.
How can I Volunteer at an Outreach?
Individuals can help out at any of our outreach locations. Please check out our locations in the list above, or call us at (631) 758-7584 for more details.
You might also want to consider collecting food, gently used clothes, or funds from your home, church, business, or school. Such donations help us out a lot along the way.
Do You Accept Groups of Volunteers?
Groups are also welcome to volunteer. However, you must register your group in advance so that we can make sure to accommodate you.
Is it Safe to Volunteer at an Outreach?
Yes. Our outreaches are run in an orderly fashion. In some cases, police park their cars at our outreach locations to help ensure the safety of all involved. Our outreaches can sometimes be unpredictable. Please be alert at all times, and leave any valuable items either at home or locked in your car.
Can I Give Money to Homeless People During an Outreach?
No. The purpose of our outreaches is to provide free food and share the Gospel of Jesus. We cannot meet all of the needs that people have. Giving out money to some people in need can also create issues with other people waiting on the line for food.
Can I or My Group Hand Out Religious Literature at an Outreach?
No. Bible tracts, bibles, and any other religious or non-religious literature can NOT be given out at any outreaches without prior approval from the Lighthouse Mission pastoral team. Please contact our Outreach Director at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on how to submit your literature for approval.
Lighthouse Mission has approved bibles, bible tracts, books, and other materials that are kept on our outreach trucks and are available to distribute to those in attendance.
Can I or My Group/Business Offer Services or Products to People at an Outreach?
No. We do not allow the solicitation of private, government, or non-profit services, goods (free or paid), etc. of any sort at our outreaches, unless the group has been pre-registered with our outreach staff. Please contact our Outreach Director at email@example.com for more info.
I or My Child Need to Complete Community Service Hours. Can I Do These at Lighthouse Mission?
Yes. Please be prepared to complete your hours within our normal business hours (9:00am-4:00pm weekdays). We cannot accommodate volunteers looking to serve after these hours, or who need to complete more than 35 hours per week.
Children under 18 years of age who need to complete community service hours for school must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
CLICK HERE to learn about community service activities.
Please call our office at 631-758-7584 in advance of when you want to complete your hours, as you need to be registered with our office.
We CANNOT approve community service hours that were completed prior to registering with our office.
Summer Meals for Kids
When school is closed, local children in need often go hungry. That's why all Summer long we set up a table with a free nutritious lunch, games, and crafts at select Outreaches. It's a practical way of showing God's love to children (and families) in need.
Helping Feed Hungry Children
Many local families in need receive help to cover the cost of lunch for their children during the school year (in one community the Mission serves, 54% of students need help).
But when school is out, this help disappears. That's where the Mission comes in. With help from local food banks, stores, and volunteers like you, we are able to provide a free, nutritious lunch for children each week of the Summer at select Food Outreach locations.
All children who attend these Outreaches eat lunch free of charge at a table filled with fun little games and Bible crafts (and maybe some chalk and balloons when Pastor Jim comes along) while their parents receive food for the rest of the week. While there, the children learn about God's love for them through a short Bible message.
Learn More About This Program
Want to find out which Outreaches have free meals this Summer? Interested in donating food, funds, or your time to help us serve children across Suffolk County?
Please call our office at (631) 758-7584.
Help the Homeless
DID YOU KNOW THAT:
Homelessness affects more Long Islanders than you might think - and most of them don't look like the stereotypical "homeless person". Many live in local family or emergency shelters, motels, or in the homes of friends and family. Only 3% of Long Island's homeless live outdoors or in a car.
Of the 3,843 Long Islanders who went homeless on any given night in 2019, 70% belonged to families with children. Many veterans and survivors of domestic abuse also find themselves temporarily homeless.
33% of homeless adults on Long Island suffer from chronic health issues such as disability or HIV/AIDS that impact their ability to work. 48% suffer from some form of Mental Health issue.
To Learn More About Homelessness in New York, please see the following resource:
Homeless Shelters and Homelessness in New York State by the New York State Office of the State Comptroller. 2016.
Accessible at: https://www.osc.state.ny.us/audits/allaudits/093016/16d3.pdf
Annual Street Homeless Count by the Long Island Coalition for the Homeless. 2019.
Accessible at: https://www.addressthehomeless.org/copy-of-homeless-count
Many people have compassion towards those struggling with homelessness and want to help in any way they can. But because some homeless people suffer from addictions or mental health problems, you should be cautious when engaging with them. Overall, it is best for you to contact an organization like Lighthouse Mission, the Department of Social Services, or your local Police Department that knows how best to help.
Department of Social Services:
Pax Christi Hospitality Center
How You Can Help:
Make a "Mission Kit"
A ziploc bag filled with sample-sized personal hygiene items and toiletries is a special blessing for those without a home. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving cream, razors & printed bible verses go a long way for those in need. - Plus, it's a fun activity for your family, church, scout troop, or business. Keeping a plastic bag filled with these toiletries, some snacks, and a few seasonal items in your car is a great way to help people you see while on the go.
Here are some extra seasonal items you can include:
Winter: XL-size Coat, Gloves, Hat, Heating Packs
Summer: Bottled Water, Juice, First-Aid Ice Pack
Donate Food to Lighthouse Mission
Lighthouse Mission's food comes through donations from people like you. We accept non-perishable foods (canned goods, pastas, cereal, bottled water, etc.), meats (hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, turkeys, etc.), dairy products, and fresh fruits & vegetables.
We DO NOT accept donations of cooked food or leftovers, since we are not a soup kitchen.
Donate Clothing to Lighthouse Mission
Have a closet full of old clothes? We accept donations of new and gently-used clothes of any sort, size, and season. Donations of hats, gloves, and coats are especially needed during the winter months. Please bring all clothing donations to our building in North Bellport. We are open weekdays from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
Unable to make it to the Mission during the day? You can place any clothing donations inside our "Donation Drop Box" located right outside our building!
Become a Financial Donor to Lighthouse Mission
Lighthouse Mission share the Good News of Jesus by helping those in need. Your donations make this work possible. All funding goes to support programs right here on Long Island, and you can choose to make a one-time gift, or become a monthly partners. Click the "Donate" Button at the top of your page, or CLICK HERE to donate.
What NOT to Do:
DO NOT go into the woods or to “homeless camps”
These areas are unsafe due to their lack of visibility from the road and frequently have needles, broken glass, and other hazards on the ground. If you learn about one of these areas, contact Lighthouse Mission. Our Missionary Staff has been working with the homeless for many years and knows how to safely work with these communities.
DO NOT offer to give a homeless individual a ride in your car.
Personal boundaries for your safety are important. Because of the unknowns when dealing with the homeless, you should err on the side of caution. If someone asks you for a ride, call a taxi or Lighthouse Mission.
DO NOT bring a homeless individual into your home or give out your address on cold days
There are many Emergency Shelters with properly trained staff where the homeless can stay free-of-charge by contacting the Department of Social Services.
Please call the Department of Social Services Emergency Hotline at (631) 854-9930 for information on these services.
DO NOT give out money or gift cards
As some homeless individuals are battling addiction, it is best to not give out items that can be exchanged for drugs or alcohol. Food and bottled water are much better alternatives that meet an important need.
IN SHORT: Be Cautious!
Always exercise caution when engaging with the homeless. Remember that it is not wrong to prioritize your safety. Trained staff members at Lighthouse Mission and other community organizations know how to work with these populations.
Please call Lighthouse Mission at (631) 758-7584 or the Department of Social Services Emergency Hotline at (631) 854-9930.