The Town of Babylon is renaming its food pantry after a local pastor who helped feed thousands of hungry residents in need.

The pantry in North Amityville will now be known as the Pastor Roy Kirton Food Pantry after Kirton, 71, who died in July. He was a Copiague native and retired investment broker who, in 1997, founded the now-defunct Circle of Love Ministry, a nondenominational church, in the hamlet.

Growing up the oldest of seven children in a single-parent household, Kirton remembered being hungry as a child and made it a mission to feed thousands through his church’s food pantry and by organizing free meals every Thanksgiving.

“There’s so many hurting people. And they just need love,” Kirton told Newsday last Thanksgiving. “Food is a medium that can show love.”

A ceremony to unveil the new name will be held in November, said town spokesman Patrick Maslinski.

— DENISE M. BONILLA