This year our readers helped us raise a total of $1,600 through our Holiday Greeting Fund in support of the Chestene M. Coverdale Sayville Food Pantry. Earlier this week, we presented the pantry with the check.
“We would like to thank the community for their generosity and support this year as we beat last year’s contributions by a total of $300,” said Suffolk County News publisher Terry Tuthill. “We are so happy to be able to give money to such a worthy local cause, especially this time of year when their donations are a lot lower than during the holiday season.”
The Greater Sayville Food Pantry, serving out of the Gillette House in Sayville, has been occupying that space for the last 29 years, with plans to celebrate three decades this year. Throughout the year, the pantry serves about 200 families from nearby South Shore areas, including Sayville, West Sayville, Bayport, Oakdale, Bohemia and Blue Point.
“We always say we wish we people could see the smiles, hugs and appreciation everyone has when they come here,” said volunteer Joanne Alcabes of what the donation will do for the community. “It’s the little things that we do that make it special.”
Although donations after the holiday season have dramatically slowed, volunteers explained that those in need have not, serving about 28 people in one day. Currently, the pantry is in need of items like jelly, tomato sauce, cereal and microwaveable items like soup and canned chili. The check, volunteers said, should help cover expenses for over a month.
The pantry also helps in any way they can by soliciting donations for items and money for things beyond food in emergency situations, like bills for utilities, rent, or for baby car seats and school supplies.
The pantry is open three days a week for donations and pickups, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Most families pick up about once every two weeks depending on their needs.
“Once again the Chestene M. Coverdale Food Pantry must thank the Suffolk County News and the generosity of our neighbors for this wonderful donation,” added coordinator Charlene Lehmann. “Your gift enables us to help those less fortunate.”