At the Gerald J. Ryan Outreach Center, we want to ensure that clients have access to a special meal to celebrate the holidays regardless of their circumstances. Through our Holiday Program, Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets are distributed to an average of 500 households.

Households that sign up in October, receive holiday baskets in addition to their regular food pantry for November and December. Volunteers prepare the baskets so that they contain the necessary ingredients for a complete holiday dinner. The food is provided by the our local food banks, area churches, schools, organizations and individuals.

In addition, at Thanksgiving and Christmas, food and gifts are provided by St. Ann Parish in Garden City and St. John High School in West Islip, which support holiday food for many families.

What makes St. John’s High School (West Islip) and St. Ann Parish (Garden City) holiday program special is that for Christmas, our clients actually tell us what gifts they would like to receive (within reason) and they do their best to provide them. In 2012, 469 families and 70 individuals signed up for our Holiday Program and the Center provided over 1,000 gifts for our neighbors for the holidays.

We gladly accept donations of new and unwrapped toys and holiday food, starting in October.  Please contact the center at (631) 643-7591, if you are interested in making a donation.   Adopting a family is also available for anyone or a business wanting to make the holidays a little brighter for a family.