More food drives planned to help meet demand in response to coronavirus pandemic

Several more area food drives are planned in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

This weekend, the Southold Lions Club will host a food drive to help stock the local food pantries, which are all experiencing great demand. 

The drive will take place at the Southold IGA market on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shoppers are asked to donate items most in need, including nonperishables and canned goods.

In addition to the food drive, two North Fork Episcopal churches are seeking volunteers to help deliver food to neighbors in need.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, one of several distribution points for groceries via CAST, is also working with Breaking Bread Outreach to help deliver meals to residents in need. The takeout meal program, called Sunday Supper, is prepared by local chefs in the Holy Trinity Kitchen and picked up on Sunday evenings around 5 p.m. Volunteers then leave the meal on the recipients porch and call them to let them know it’s arrived.

“I know that quite a few of the older folks in our two churches are lonely and would appreciate being thought of,” Fr. Joslin wrote in an emailed newsletter Friday.

Last Sunday, he said, over 300 meals were picked up or delivered.

“The need is great,” he said.

In Riverhead, another coordinated effort has begun to support local food pantries and soup kitchens.

Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar announced Friday that the town has received a $10,000 donation from the Zucker Family Foundation that will help distribute shelf-stable essentials to restock the shelves at numerous food pantries throughout the area.

“On behalf of myself and the entire town board, we thank the Zucker Foundation for assisting our residents in this time of absolute need,” Ms. Aguiar said in a statement.

Earlier this month, Riverhead Town partnered with Island Harvest for a drive-up food pantry at Stotzky Park that drew over 500 vehicles and quickly ran out of supplies.

Riverhead officials said residents are encouraged to connect with local food pantries after April 30 to receive items.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced Friday the county would be launching a food distribution pilot program at the mobile hotspot testing sites in the county. The first one will launch in Brentwood and food will be provided on-site to those coming to the site for testing.

A mobile testing site has been operating in Riverside at the county center.