AFTEE Grant Funds Refrigeration

Helping Establish Official Shinnecock Nation Food Pantry.

The Shinnecock Nation has been hit hard by the COVID 19 pandemic and the demand for food from their members continues to grow as the pandemic enters its second phase.  The food distribution location at the Reservation’s Community Center had only household size appliances with very little storage space.  They needed larger capacity freezers and refrigerators to store food from deliveries,  and to qualify as an official food pantry in order to benefit from bulk buying cost benefits as members of Island Harvest and Long Island Cares.  In order to be approved by one of the major food banks, a certain level of refrigeration is required.   AFTEE not only provided a grant of nearly $7,000 to purchase refrigeration and freezers, but board members with industry contacts assisted in both purchasing these commercial grade appliances and supervised the installation.

“We were pleased to support the Shinnecock Nation” said AFTEE Board President Claudia Pilato.  AFTEE’s ongoing outreach and dialogue with food pantries across the East End allows us to uncover urgent issues that we can help address.”  “This is the second time AFTEE uncovered a challenge local food pantries were facing.  Over the summer AFTEE board members installed several refrigeration and freezer units at the Town of Southampton Bridgehampton Community Center.  It was a collaborative effort, with generous financial support from the Bridgehampton Lion’s Club. Those units are being used by three local panries.

To date, AFTEE has raised over $1.3 million and provided more than 60 grants to East End Food Pantries and other organizations addressing food instability and other social needs. AFTEE  interacts with the community through its Community Advisory Committee which includes both community and business leaders along with leadership from local pantries.  “We believe in working together to address common issues,” said Pilato.  That is the way we can have the most impact. Fundraising is still critical and our primary focus is on refilling the AFTEE fund so that we can meet the needs of our local organizations who are working so hard every day to make a difference to our friends and neighbors who are so vulnerable.”

AFTEE, a unique 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 2012 and is working to support the non-profit community of Long Island’s East End by providing an accessible source of funding.  The Feed the Need Campaign is currently addressing issues of food instability and other concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Long Island Community Foundation partners with AFTEE to manage the grant process to ensure transparency, and administers the fund disbursements.  The AFTEE grant advisory committee includes one member from each of the five East End towns.  Learn more about the work of AFTEE and the Long Island Community Foundation.