The group will hand out candy canes asking for donations for East Hampton Food Pantry.

For the East Hampton Lions Club, the on Saturday won’t be just an excuse to wear an elf’s hat or hand out goodies; the club is using the day to raise awareness and collect donations for the East Hampton Food Pantry.

Club secretary Thomas Lawrence said members will march in the parade and, along the route, handing out candy canes with a note attached encouraging donations with all of the food pantry’s information on the back.

They are also planning on setting up for donations in front of at the , where the will direct Santa after the parade. The group will confirm that’s their location after a meeting on Thursday, but the plan was to be there from 11 a.m. to noon.

Lawrence said the Lions Club, which is now in its 63rd year, is encouraging both monetary donations, as well as the canned-good form.

The note will read, “As you enjoy this sweet treat, please remember our neighbors who don’t have enough to eat by making a donation to the .”

According to the food pantry’s statistics, it served 43,519 meals to residents of the Town of East Hampton in 2010, 12,463 were children. The number has grown since 2009, when the organization fed 22,305.

The parade begins down Main Street in East Hampton Village on Saturday at 10 a.m.

By Taylor K. Vecsey, Patch Staff