The Montauk Chamber of Commerce donated just over $8,000 to the Montauk Food Pantry — nearly double what it raised last year for the organization.
Laraine Creegan, the chamber's executive director, and Paul Monte, the chamber president, presented a check for $8,042 to Fran Ecker, who runs the food pantry with Ines Fox out of St. Therese, on Dec. 28.
The funds were raised through the weekly Farmers Market on the Montauk Green, which is in its fourth year.
"We are so proud the we can organize this event and that it became such a win-win for the local farmers, our community, and the Montauk Food Pantry, and their recipients," Creegan said.
Ecker was apparently "stunned" at the amount of the donation that she thought she misunderstood, Creegan said. Last year, . "I am thrilled that all of our hard work went directly back into our community — to people who really need it. This is what community is all about," she added.
"The Farmers Market has been a wonderful experience for the participating farmers as well as the people who attended it," Creegan said. that has been the overall feedback received.
"This year, the market ran for 18 weeks on Thursdays starting June 21 through Oct. 11 with two optional dates at our Fall Festival," she said, adding that 29 vendors participated. The vendors pay a fee for the space, which is how the money is raised. "The Chamber advertises the market and does all the administrative work, applications, making sure they are all ‘legitimate,’ etc., working with the Department of Agriculture, and covering the necessary insurance costs," she added.