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King Kullen and Long Island Cares have been working with each other for decades to help combat food insecurity across Long Island. (Photo courtesy of King Kullen)

It’s really refreshing to see people doing the right thing, especially when they’re doing right by those in need.

Earlier this month it was announced King Kullen, along with its sister company, Wild by Nature, raised $22,000 via their annual in-store “Check Out Hunger” campaign to benefit Long Island Cares/Harry Chapin Food Bank.

According to Tracey Cullen, the grocery store chain’s vice president of corporate strategy and initiatives (and great-granddaughter of founder Michael Cullen), all 27 locations, including stores in Bridgehampton, Eastport, Hampton Bays, and Manorville on the South Fork, as well as stores in Cutchogue and Wading River on the North Fork, participated in the campaign along with all four Wild by Nature stores.

“Our partnership with LI Cares is a committed one,” says Cullen, noting King Kullen customers have a long history of supporting the Hauppauge-based food bank. “Each year, sadly, food insecurity needs are growing.”

About 270,000 Long Islanders struggle with food insecurity every day.

For about 28 years, the “Check Out Hunger” campaign has played a major role in providing the food bank (originally founded in 1980 by singer/songwriter Harry Chapin) money to give food where and when it’s needed.

Additionally, according to Cullen, who also serves on the board for Long Island Cares, actual food is picked up twice a week at nearly all King Kullen stores throughout the year, where it is then delivered to “the hands and mouths that need it pretty much in the same day,” she says.

Thanks to Long Island Cares’ efforts, Cullen says 14.5 million pounds of food and supplies has been distributed. In addition to their main office in Hauppague, they have five satellite offices, including one in Hampton Bays that Cullen notes, “gets lots of action.”

King Kullen was the first supermarket chain to participate in the campaign, according to a press release from the grocer, thus creating “a unique partnership between Long Island Cares and the shopping community.” Monetary donations were made by customers at checkout, where they had the option to utilize a coupon for either $1, $3 or $5 to add to their grocery bill. The campaign started in October of last year and ended this past January.

“King Kullen and Wild by Nature have made a meaningful difference in the fight against hunger,” says Long Island Cares CEO Paule T. Patcher. “Their customers continue to generously support our mission and we are forever grateful for their support all these years.”