What’s even better than getting presents? Giving! The East End is filled with luxurious wonders during the holidays, but not everyone is able to provide a family with all it needs. Living out east, it’s easy to forget that there are needy people who deserve a happy holiday. East Hampton, for instance, has the highest poverty rate in Suffolk County. Consider donating to a food pantry in the Hamptons or on the North Fork this season, and help those less fortunate. Below, we share when our local food pantries are open to distribute donations. Please call to find out how best to donate goods, funds and services.
This Saturday, December 8, Heart of the Hamptons in Southampton will host the annual Polar Bear Plunge at Coopers Beach, which raises money to help stock their food pantry’s shelves and support programs. In addition to the plunge, Heart of the Hamptons aims to serve others “through consistency and availability of various types of food, so people can subsidize their grocery shopping with our food pantry,” according to Director Hilton Crosby. “Money helps the most,” Crosby says, noting, “our food pantry has over 500 households registered. When you’re in crisis and you live in the area, we’ll do our best.” Heart of the Hamptons also has a program for the holidays whereby registered Southampton Town residents can get gifts for their families.
Heart of the Hamptons (168 Hill Street, Southampton) is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m.–noon. Local residents in need may visit the pantry twice a month. For December, registered clients receive a turkey, fresh fruit, vegetables and trimmings, as well as a toy and clothing for each child in the family. 631-283-6415, heartofthehamptons.org
Bridgehampton Community Food Pantry (2357 Montauk Highway) is open Wednesdays from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. 631-481-8179
East Hampton Food Pantry (159 Pantigo Road) is open for food distribution Tuesdays from 1–6 p.m. Donations are accepted Monday-s through Thursdays, 9 a.m.–2:30 p.m. 631-324-2300, easthamptonfoodpantry.org
Montauk Food Pantry (St. Therese Parish Center, 67 South Essex Street) distributes on the third Tuesday of each month from November–April from 6–7:30 p.m. montaukfoodpantry.org
The Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry (44 Union Street) is located in the social hall of the Old Whalers’ Church. The pantry is open Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m.–noon, except holidays. 631-725-0437, sagharborfoodpantry.com
St. Rosalie’s Community Food Pantry (St. Rosalie’s Church, 31 East Montauk Highway, Hampton Bays) is open Tuesdays-–Thursdays, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and serves Hampton Bays, East Quogue and Flanders (south of Big Duck). 631-728-9461, saintrosalie.com
Springs Food Pantry (5 Old Stone Highway, East Hampton) is open Wednesdays from 4–6 p.m. 631-324-4791, springsfoodpantry.com
Community Action Southold Town, Inc. (CAST, 316 Front Street, Greenport) serves low-income individuals on the North Fork and has a food pantry, as well as other resources, like ESL courses, advocacy, referrals and more. CAST is open from Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. 631-477-1717, castsoutholdtown.org
John’s Place (13225 Sound Avenue, Mattituck), part of the Mattituck Presbyterian Church, offers food as well as clothing and shelter during the winter months. 631-298-4277, redeemermattituck.com/johns-place
Shelter Island Food Pantry (32 North Ferry Road) is open year-round from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. weekdays. sipchurch.org/missions