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Helping Your Hampton's Neighbors

Hamptons Food Pantries: A Growing Need Another summer has come and gone in the Hamptons. The days were filled with warm

sun, beautiful beach weather, celebrity sightings, fabulous parties, high fashion and all the glitz and glamor this area has to offer.

However, as winter approaches another scene unfolds. It is one of neighbors without

enough food to eat, mothers without enough diapers and formula for their infants, children without adequate warm winter clothing and seniors who are struggling between paying for food or medication.

Talking with any of the dedicated volunteers at food pantries across the East End of Long

Island reveals that more needs to be done to raise awareness of this growing problem. A common question can an area as beautiful and wealthy as the Hamptons need food pantries? It does because of the high cost of living and the scarcity of good paying year round jobs. Adding to this the downturn in the economy is creating an even greater need.

The numbers of those in need from Montauk to Southampton is staggering. Last winter

these pantries were struggling to serve a grand total of approximately 6,000 families and this year the numbers are expected to rise. These are just the individuals who come to the pantry for help. Many of the volunteers at these sites claim to know of other families in need, who are too embarrassed to ask for help.

So how can you help? The following pages contain a list of the various food pantries in the

area and what they need. If you can not help out financially or with donations of food or clothing, consider giving your time. Most pantries need help sorting and packing donations and some need volunteers to deliver items to families without transportation. Some of the pantries have very specific needs, while others can use all forms of assistance. If you know of a neighbor in need encourage them to go or consider picking up the supplies for them.

Organize those in your community. Hold a bake sale, car wash, 50/50 raffle, game night or

other event where donations can be accepted. Working together we can start to raise the awareness and funding needed so none of our Hamptons neighbors, have to go without what many of us take for granted.

Thank you to Fran Ecker, Barbara Wolfram, Dru Raley, Tony Alversa and Corinne Alversa Wiz, and Gabrielle A. Scarpaci and Diane Scanlon for their help with this article.


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