Springs Community Helps Feed Poor

“It is a huge team effort,” Pamela Bicket said on July 11 at a gathering at Springs Community Presbyterian Church, celebrating grants from the county of $4500, as well as from the Town of East Hampton, which donated $2000. The $6500 total received is 10 percent of the $65,000 target the church’s pantry, which supplies food and nutritional information to the working poor of Springs, hopes to raise this year.

Bicket gave a tour of the pantry, filled with with fresh produce, as well as some canned goods. “Everybody has a choice [of various foods]” she said. “They show us their card so we know how many children and how many adults are in the family.”

She walked around the tables set up in a U shape, offering an array of fresh produce. “Potatoes, carrots, beets.” These came, she said, from local farms, except for the potatoes. She pointed at a huge pile of cabbage. “Everybody gets a cabbage,” she said with a laugh. Donating farms included Amber Waves in Amagansett and Share the Harvest Farm in East Hampton.

“The cucumbers came from Share the Harvest,” she said. Southampton Town Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc was on hand. “They had a good week for cucumbers,” he joked about the enormous pile of cukes.

There was an open space on the table. “I saved this space for Balsam Farms. They said they may be bringing more beets,” she said. On cue, Ian Calder-Piedmonte walked in with several sacks of produce. Calder-Piedmonte is one of the partners in the Town Lane, Amagansett farm and stand.

“Eggs are once a month,” Bicket said. The eggs are donated by Mary’s Marvelous on Newtown Lane. There are also canned goods. The meat is frozen, and wasn’t laid out yet, to protect it.

Winter, when one would not expect to see fresh produce, is the pantry’s neediest time, Bicket said. But Share the Harvest Farm, with its 3000-square-foot greenhouse, has extended the season for fresh produce to about 10 months a year.

Marielle Ingram, a Springs resident and manager at the farm, addressed the gathering, which included East Hampton Town Board members David Lys and Sylvia Overby, as well as the supervisor. “Thank you for allowing us to do what we do, and allowing us to feed so many people,” she said.

Jess Tonn spoke next, about a new program between Share the Harvest and the Amagansett Food Institute that will allow the farmers to process the produce for year-round consumption. AFI also provides the farmers with freezer space, she explained.

“We are very fortunate to live in a really beautiful place,” Van Scoyoc said. “There is a great amount of wealth in the community, but there is also a great amount of need. It is really wonderful to see members of the community come together to meet those needs.”

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