Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry’s volunteer executive director, Evelyn “Evie” Ramunno, and her incredible team of volunteers were recently awarded Sag Harbor Partnership’s 2020 Community Service Award in honor of their outstanding commitment to those most in need in the Sag Harbor community.
Ramunno and the “Corona Crew,” as she calls them, were honored with the award at an intimate ceremony at the Old Whaler’s Church on Tuesday, December 8. Crewmates include MaryAnn Bennett, Gloria Brown, Tom Buckley, Jim Burns, Gregg Churchill, Joe Holder, Michi Ikeda, Pam Kern, Marilyn and Pat Knowles, Deanna Lattanzio, Judy Lattanzio, Nahir Nieves, Robyn Obler, Eden Sargent, Jean VanErk and Dianne Youngblood. The Southampton Town Board, Suffolk County Legislature and New York State Assembly issued certificates of recognition that were presented by Councilman Tommy John Schiavoni, Legislator Bridget Fleming and Assemblyman Fred Thiele, respectively.
Past Community Service Award recipients include Greg Ferraris, Nada Barry, Ed Hollander and April Gornik for their contributions to Sag Harbor.
Ramunno was born and raised in Bridgehampton and has seen Sag Harbor evolve over the years, remembering far back to when food was in short supply. “During World War II, I was maybe 11 years old,” she recalls. “My mother would ‘hear’ that Bohack Grocery Store was going to get in some sugar or bread, and she would send me to stand in line with the ration stamps in order to get some.” She first worked at the Bulova Watchcase Factory where she met her husband of over 60 years. Ramunno and her late husband, Jim, raised five children who all graduated from Pierson High School. She worked for 28 years for the Sag Harbor school district. After two years of retirement, she grew restless and called the church that housed the food pantry to see if they needed volunteers, which they undoubtedly did.
Today, the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry is providing nearly 100 local families with fresh food and essentials each week. In addition to giving out three bags of groceries to families per week, volunteers also provide information to assist clients in receiving additional social services. “The food pantry creates a feeling of togetherness, neighbors helping neighbors, everyone working together,” Ramunno says. After providing families with Thanksgiving dinners donated by Tutti il Giorno, the food pantry continues to support the Sag Harbor community through the holiday season with winter coats, holiday meals and more.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, a committed group of volunteers have shown up week after week to assist in the bag preparation and distribution, prompting Ramunno to nickname them the “Corona Crew.” Most of the volunteers are older in years and vulnerable to infection, but they remain dedicated to keeping each other safe and providing for those in need. Sag Harbor Partnership did its part to support the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry in 2020 with two community relief grants to help meet the increased needs being addressed.
Donations can be made in honor of Rammuno and the “Corona Crew” at sagharborfoodpantry.org/donations. To support Sag Harbor Partnership’s annual fund drive to help provide community relief grants, visit sagharborpartnership.org/donate.