Community Food Distribution Day coming to Riverhead Thursday

RISE Life Services, a nonprofit that provides support, housing and services for physically and mentally challenged people and their families, will partner with Island Harvest to host a Community Food Distribution Day Thursday. 

Volunteers from both organizations will gather in the parking lot of the RISE office building and location of the Main Street Market Food Pantry at 901 East Main St., Suite 500, in Riverhead. The Island Harvest truck will arrive at 1 p.m. and food shares will be distributed until inventory is gone, RISE said.

“RISE is very pleased to be able to host this food distribution day with Island Harvest,” JoAnn Vitale, who coordinates the food pantry program, said in a press release. “It will be ‘all hands on deck,’ handing out food to anyone who comes. There will be a truck and special area set up in our parking lot to serve even more people than ever.”

RISE Life Services operates the Main Street Market Food Pantry in the Riverhead lot every Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Most of those who use this resource have difficulty providing for themselves or their families, but all are welcome to come and get food from the pantry, according to RISE. Island Harvest, Long Island’s largest hunger relief organization, is the pantry’s primary source of donated food for distribution.

Last year, RISE’s food pantry expanded to a new downtown Riverhead location and now receives double the allocation of food. The addition has been of particular importance after the closing of one of the largest food pantries in the area, the Council of Churches Food Pantry, according to the nonprofit. As a result, the Main Street Market Food Pantry said it has experienced a steady increase in people coming in to get food.

Ms. Vitale said she hopes to expand this program in the near future to offer delivery to the needy and elderly, according to the food pantry’s website.

“Many people visit and tell us that they are picking up for others who cannot leave their house,” she said. “There is a need out there.”