Advocacy & Referrals
CAST provides clients with information about critical resources in the community, including emergency assistance and health, housing, heating/utility, education and employment support. We also connect clients to available resources and advocate for our clients when needed. Our goal is to improve family well-being and we collaborate with community partners to ensure that our clients receive the help they need.
CAST’s Food Pantry is open 3 days/week. Please sign-up for the Food Pantry with a Client Support Specialist. CAST uses the MyPlate Nutrition guidelines for our Food Pantry. We have a Nutrition Specialist on staff to ensure that we are providing healthy options and healthy eating tips for our clients.
Food Pantry Hours
In addition, donated and rescued food/produce, including bread from bakeries, 7-11 sandwiches, Starbucks, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, is available for clients daily in the front office.
Benefit Application Assistance
CAST uses EarnBenefits, an online tool, to screen individuals for eligibility in up to 22 benefit programs available to New York residents. These benefits include SNAP (formerly food stamps), health insurance, tax credits, housing, phone, and utility assistance. If clients provide accurate income and expense information, CAST can educate clients regarding the benefits they may be eligible for based on the online benefit eligibility calculations. We can also provide clients with step by step application instructions for the benefit programs. Clients can make an appointment with a Client Support Specialist for an EarnBenefits screening.
Home Energy Assistance
CAST helps clients with their home energy needs during the winter season. We help clients apply for HEAP which opens in November and ends when program funding runs out in March/April. Eligible clients can receive one regular HEAP benefit per season and could be eligible for an emergency HEAP benefit if in danger of running out of fuel or having utility service shut-off. CAST also helps clients apply for Project Warmth – a one-time grant to provide payments to oil and utility companies on behalf of eligible clients facing heating emergencies. Clients can make an appointment with a Client Support Specialist to see if eligible for heating assistance.
CAST has a Sharing Room which offers free gently used clothes, shoes, household goods, baby items, toys, books, and furniture. Clients can post items they need on the Sharing Room board and they can see available items on the board and on site. The Sharing Room is open daily and CAST can receive donations during regular business hours.
CAST provides emergency assistance to clients through our Emergency Fund. The Emergency Fund helps clients who are faced with unexpected emergencies including heat, electricity, medical bills, car repairs, transportation needs, and other expenses that arise with little or no warning. Clients can see a Client Support Specialist to apply and they are eligible to apply one time a year.
CAST provides free bus tickets to clients who need help getting to work, school, medical appointments, etc. CAST also works with Country Time Cycle in Mattituck to provide refurbished bicycles to clients in need of transportation.
Seasonal Programs-Feed-A Kid
During school breaks when children are not able to receive free and reduced-price meals at school, CAST helps fill the need by providing breakfast, lunch and snack foods to eligible families. Sign-up with a Client Support Specialist to receive a Feed-A-Kid bag during summer, winter and/or spring vacations.
Seasonal Programs- School Supply Drive
In August, CAST helps students from pre-k to high school start the school year right by distributing grade appropriate backpacks filled with school supplies. Donations are needed and greatly appreciated! Interested families must sign-up with a Client Support Specialist.
Seasonal Programs- Holiday Toy Drive
CAST holds a Holiday Toy Drive to help make the holidays bright for families in need. We collect toys, games, books, and winter clothes for children and teens in the community. In December, we display the items at a local venue and parents can “shop” for their children to ensure they have gifts for them during the holiday season. If interested in participating, please sign-up with a Client Support Specialist.
Seasonal Programs- Fresh Produce Programs
To ensure that our neighbors in need have access to the abundant fresh produce on the North Fork, CAST has implemented three programs: Gert’s Greens, Farm to Friend, and Produce Rescue. With the support of local farms and volunteers, we can provide seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms to vulnerable families in the community.
Free Tax Prep
CAST partners with the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island to provide free tax preparation for income-eligible households.
Summer Story Time
During the summer, CAST has weekly story time for preschoolers at the Floyd Memorial Library in Greenport. The story hour includes music, movement, and crafts in addition to the stories. The summer 2019 dates will be posted soon. Come join us for Story Time this summer!
CAST’s safety net has a wide reach. We serve seniors, children, single mothers, veterans, the working poor, people living with disabilities, the homeless, and those needing emergency assistance because of an unexpected crisis. We also rely on many volunteers to better serve the community.