Long Island Cares Offers Boxes Of Food To Struggling Entertainment Industry Professionals

Concert venues and live theaters are still closed, leaving local musicians and performers, stagehands and others in the industry struggling. CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.

Video Transcript

- Concert venues and live theaters are still closed-- a hardship for performers, stagehands, and many other people.

- And now there is some help for all of those people in the form of some much-needed food. CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports from Long Island.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Before the pandemic, The Liverpool Shuffle was booking 60 live gigs per year. COVID shut them down--

- (SINGING) All you need is love.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: --for all but a few virtual concerts.

JOE REFANO: It's just been brutal, you know. It's just been-- and Long Island has been particularly hard hit because we've had-- well, at one time it seemed like Long Island was at the center of the COVID universe.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: The first to close, the last to reopen, live music performers are struggling still. Here at Mulcahy's in Wantagh dinner theater is open, but many of their collaborators haven't seen a paycheck in a year.

TIM MURRAY: Stagehands, lighting techs, roadies, everything. And they're all out of work.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: For them, Long Island Cares has created an emergency response, Music Box of Meals-- several days of food, personal care products, even pet food.

DR. JESSICA ROSATI: They're welcome to utilize this program as often and as long as they need it.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Boxes can be picked up at these venues where they've held so many benefit concerts to help others.

MICHELE RIZZO-BERG: To come and ask for help, I think, you know, might be embarrassing for some. And you know, you don't want to admit that you need it.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: Virtual events have paid some bills, but Long Island Cares predicts the need for long-term help.

PAULE PACHTER: This is the end of the line for many people in the entertainment business and the music business. For more than 12 months, no work and feeling hopeless.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: A natural partnership, Long Island Cares was founded by the late great Harry Chapin, who lived by the ideal of giving back.

DR. JESSICA ROSATI: Music is in our roots, and we want to make sure that local artists and entertainment folks have the help that they need.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: If you or someone you know in the industry needs help, you can call Long Island Cares. They'll assess the need and direct you to one of these venues where boxes and other necessities can be picked up. In Wantagh, Long Island, Carolyn Gusoff, CBS2 News.

- The need runs deep.

- It does.

- Sure does.