By Connor Linskey
The Town of Montgomery Food Pantry saw a much larger turnout in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the first three months of the pandemic, the food pantry provided food to 250 families a month, up from their previous number of 175.
During the summer months, the food pantry saw a slight decline in the number of families they served. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, their numbers are beginning to rise again.
“We’re around 210 families [a month] now and it’s expected to go up,” said Peter Sullivan, the treasurer for the pantry.
Families are now allowed to come to the pantry twice a month, whereas they could previously only visit once. They serve residents from every municipality who are in need.
On Saturday morning, the pantry provided Thanksgiving meals to 120 families in two hours. As of Monday, 60 more families were signed up to receive Thanksgiving meals and the pantry expects to distribute them during their business hours prior to the holiday.
The Thanksgiving meals include a turkey with sides such as green beans, potatoes and stuffing. In addition, local groups also pitched in. Apples were donated by Crist Bros Orchards, Inc., fresh bread from the Fox Hill Community as well as ice cream from Stewart’s Shops of Maybrook.
At the moment, the pantry is not in need of food donations. They received a gracious donation of 50 turkeys for Thanksgiving. However, the pantry expects an uptick in families seeking food prior to Christmas.
“We’re good on food now but then we need to get ready for Christmas,” Sullivan said. “We hand out hams and we’ll order those soon. So if people want to donate a spiral-cut ham that would be good.”
Those interested in donating spiral-cut hams can bring them to the Montgomery Food Pantry, 2200 NY-208, Montgomery, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesdays and 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. There is also a container for non-perishable foods that is open 24/7.
The pantry is also in need of turkeys for Christmas, so people can have a choice of meat. They are lacking pork and beans, instant potatoes and rice. Cereal, macaroni and cheese, coffee, peanut butter, jelly, tuna, canned vegetables, canned soups and pasta are also desired.