The Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry holiday food drive is underway.
The pantry relies on donations from town residents and church congregations to provide emergency supplies to 120 to 140 families a month. Nonperishable food can be dropped off weekday mornings from 9 a.m. to noon at the pantry, 90 Edgewater Ave., or until Dec. 16 at the office of Suffolk County Legis. Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), at 59 Landing Ave. Trotta’s office will be open to accept donations weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During Thanksgiving week, pantry workers hope to collect pies and turkeys for distribution to about 150 families. Gift cards can be dropped off the entire month.
“Most of our clients need a helping hand when there’s an illness, or somebody loses a job,” said pantry executive coordinator Pat Westlake. “People don’t realize how many people in Smithtown need that helping hand, or a little boost every once in a while."
Many of the pantry’s clients are referred by social workers in the town’s public schools, where 778 children — about 8 percent of the total — were economically disadvantaged in 2015, meaning they or their families participate in economic assistance programs like reduced-price lunch or receive Social Security Insurance, according to the state Education Department.
For more information, call Trotta’s office at 631-854-3900.