Editorial: Trying times for many — especially the hungry

Volunteers and staff at dozens of worthy charities and other nonprofit groups perform good works here and across the region daily. And they depend on us — and in some cases the government — to keep going.

Every weekend, it seems, there’s a festival or dinner or other such event to help support these groups, worthy causes such as keeping the arts alive, caring for homeless animals or helping an individual felled by a terrible illness or accident.

There’s no true hierarchy of importance for these causes, which all deserve and demand our attention, but it’s hard to think of a more worthy cause than feeding those among us going hungry.

That’s why it was so startling to learn this week that Bread and More, a soup kitchen operating three days a week out of Riverhead’s First Congregational Church, has not once held a fundraising event to help support its mission.

Bread and More has operated for years solely on the generosity of a few donors and a few local eateries.

Now, after two decades, they’re asking for help from the general public.

Why now?

“There are two dynamics going on,” Bread and More co-president Bennett Brokaw explained to the News-Review. “The amount of guests we serve is up about 50 to 60 percent in the last two years and our donations and funding are down by almost the same percent, 50 percent.

“Money is tight,” he added. “And we’re finding ourselves in trying times.”

What’s that old saying? Give until it hurts. The folks at Bread and More already have. They’re hurting, and while no one should be told how to spend his or her money, we can ask that we all keep Riverhead’s hungry in mind as we head into the holidays.

Bread and More’s first-ever fundraising event, The Harvest Fundraiser Dinner, will be held at the East Main Street church this Saturday, Oct. 20. A three-course pork roast dinner will be served in two seatings, one at 5 p.m. and another at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at Barth’s Pharmacy, 32 East Main St. in Riverhead, or Cecily’s Love Lane Gallery in Mattituck. People also can also call Phyllis Kenny at 516-297-7810 for tickets. Tables can be reserved for parties of eight or more.