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During the COVID-19 crisis, there was an increase in food insecurity throughout the East End. The pandemic was especially challenging for residents who were forced into unemployment and there was a lack of accessibility to food. The Common Good Committee at St. Rosalie’s Church, led by Bonnie Doyle and Councilman Martel, were inspired by other little free pantries set up on the East End. They worked together to organize the installation of the little free pantry at the entrance of Good Ground Park, next to the Southampton CPF office to help meet people’s immediate needs. The main goal of this project was to fill the gap for food insecurity in the area and to provide a source of food when pantries are closed.
This project was a community effort and brought people together from different groups within Hampton Bays. The Hampton Bays Rotary has applied for a grant to make sure this project stays sustainable and that it is always stocked with food. There were numerous churches that have stepped up to provide non-perishable items to the cabinet such as the Assembly of God Church and St. Rosalie’s Roman Catholic Church. Brian Kennedy volunteered to build the pantry and provided the materials. “COVID-19 was a challenging time for this community and I am glad to see that people came together to provide food now and in the future to those who need help the most” said Councilman Martel. “It was great to work with the Common Good Committee of St Rosalie’s, Brian Kennedy and the Hampton Bays Rotary on this project to make sure we keep fighting against food insecurity here on the East End”.
For more information on the Little Free Pantry you can visit the Southampton Town website at www.southamptontownny.gov or you can find flyers at the pantry.