EAST HAMPTON - A food pantry that feeds thousands of East End residents every year is scrambling to find a new home.
The East Hampton Food Pantry, located in a senior community center, received a letter this spring ordering it to leave the senior housing project that's been its home for 12 years.
Last year alone, the pantry fed 27,000 people. The building's manager says feeding so many people is part of the problem. They say so many families use the pantry in the winter that the seniors who live there are crowded out.
"On Tuesdays in the winter time, we get about 300 families here and that's a big crowd, everything from our bathrooms to facilities. The seniors feel like they can't really use the place," said Gerry Mooney, co-manager of Windmill Villages.
The management says they want to turn the pantry's storage area into a gym and provide more activities for the seniors.
Claudine Michel says she doesn't need a gym – she needs the pantry. The 66-year-old doesn't drive anymore and without the pantry there, she's just going to have to do without the fresh foods she needs and loves.
"Stay home and do what we can with what we have," she says.