Frank & Maria's - and the Pantry at St. Peter's By-the-Sea

Frank and Maria

This story was originally published by South Bay Neighbors.

When Frank Salvaggio and daughter Giovanna learned of the supply struggles at the food pantry at St. Peter’s-By-The-Sea Episcopal Church, they didn’t hesitate to jump in to help.

The owners of Frank & Maria’s Italian Market in Bay Shore started their own food collection drive to send to the church food pantry. They collect from customers, vendors, neighbors, and nearby businesses.

No stranger to community outreach, the company was, in fact, one of the first supporters of The St. Peter’s Organic Victory Garden (also referred to as The Farm at St. Peter’s). The garden, which opened in 2018, is on two acres-plus grounds at St. Peter’s By-The-Sea Episcopal Church.

“It’s important to support the community,” said Salvaggio.

Susanne with pantry bags

Each Saturday, clients choose two bags from the five themed ones: ready-to-eat; chef/baker; kid-friendly; pasta, and rice. Each bag contains items associated with that theme; for example, the chef/baker bag is geared toward those who like to cook or bake. Kid-friendly bags include food items known to appeal to kids.


In addition, The Pantry at St. Peter’s clients are offered produce from the St. Peter’s Organic Victory Garden. This includes radishes, carrots, lettuce, and whatever is fully grown and ripe at the time.

The Pantry at St. Peter’s is a member of Long Island Cares–The Harry Chapin Food Bank. It also receives financial assistance from The Episcopal Ministries of Long Island.

Demand Outweighs Supply

The figures are grim. Over 35 million Americans – and it’s only expected to get worse – are food insecure, as people struggle to pay their bills, with inflation and food costs.

On Long Island alone, over 230,000 people were food insecure with over 35% of them being children.

The most vulnerable populations are the unemployed and underemployed; veterans, seniors, the homeless, and other socio-ethnic groups.

“The face of food insecurity could be your next-door neighbor,”

says Reverend Doyle Dietz Allen, priest-in-charge, of St. Peter’s By-The-Sea.

Food Pantries: An Important Safety Net

While we can’t control inflation, businesses can help without ever leaving their offices. Encourage co-workers and staff to conduct their own food collections: at gyms, community events, and from friends, family, and neighbors.

Donations can be dropped off at the Pantry at St. Peters on Saturdays from 10:30 to 1:00. St. Peter’s By-The-Sea is located at 500 South Country Road, Bay Shore. For information, please call Brian Clark at 631-665- 0051 EXT 157.