Not Outsiders - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1812536

Not Outsiders

Comments made by residents in opposition to Heart of the Hamptons moving to the ambulance barn make it abundantly clear that they are unfamiliar with the organization, the people they serve and the process that preceded the decision to move [“Neighbors Object To Permitting Food Pantry At Former Ambulance Barn,”, August 18].

During my time as executive director of Heart of the Hamptons, I spent a good part of three years scouting new locations for the organization. We did an exhaustive search of properties before we came upon the ambulance barn, which proved to be the optimal site. The ambulance barn is adjacent to a large parking lot, convenient for our clients, with safe walkways from the village business district and public transportation, and will improve accessibility with ground-floor operations.

For more than a year, we worked on designing changes to the building to best meet the needs of our clients, staff and volunteers. Each detail was thoughtfully considered to improve our efficiency and continue to be conscientious and considerate neighbors to those around us by keeping our footprint small and quiet.

While thousands of families are registered to receive food at Heart of the Hamptons, the distributions are staggered so that only around 35 people are served each day the pantry is open — which is only Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to noon. This limits traffic and ensures that there is no congestion. Similarly, deliveries from food distributors have been streamlined to one to three deliveries per week.

As for the clients at Heart of the Hamptons, they are not outsiders but people working and living in this community whose children attend our schools. They are members of the service industry, military veterans, senior citizens and neighbors who have fallen upon hard times.

In an area known for ostentatious wealth and entitlement, these are some of the most gracious and humble people you will find. They come to Heart of the Hamptons to be treated with the kindness, generosity and respect they deserve.

I can’t think of a better organization for our community to stand behind.

Hilton Crosby

Southampton Village