With winter fast approaching, All for the East End, (AFTEE) steps up efforts to help East End Food Pantries and other groups battling the effects of the second surge of COVID 19.
AFTEE renews the call for help as the Pandemic enters second phase
Bridgehampton, New York (Nov.19, 2020). Since the start of the pandemic in March, 2020 All For the East End (AFTEE) has raised over $1million and provided more than 60 grants to East End Food Pantries and other organizations addressing food instability. But that is just a drop in the bucket of what will be needed to successfully navigate the second COVID wave.
At a recent AFTEE Community Advisory meeting on Monday night, which brings together representatives from many of the local pantries, grave concern was expressed about what the winter will bring and if the pantries will have the resources to address the needs of its most vulnerable populations.
“Across the board, pantry leaders are preparing for another increase in demand. As seasonal workers lose their jobs, unemployment runs out and more positive COVID cases force people to quarantine, it will become increasingly difficult for families not only to have enough food in the house, but to pay the rent and utilities,” said Claudia Pilato, AFTEE Board President. “And, because a Pantry is a trusted place to go for help, many of the more established organizations provide both food and emergency funds. All of the pantries are committed to finding ways to get help where it is needed.”
At CAST in Southold, its clients rely on the organization for assistance for both food and emergency support. Cathy Demerto, Community Action Southold Town (CAST) Director noted, “More clients are out of work and that means that while they need food, they also need support to pay their rent and other expenses like utilities. Many donors are willing to provide funds to purchase food, but not for emergency assistance. We have a small fund set aside, but that money is going fast.”
Hilton Crosby, Executive Director of Heart of the Hamptons in Southampton said his organization provided food for 65,000 meals in 2019. This year his pantry is already at 163,000, with 810 new families added to the client roster. And requests for help continue to grow. “We are still doing the Polar Bear Plunge on 12/12/20, though it will be virtual,” said Crosby. Go to www.heartofthehamptons.org to learn more.
According to Pamela Bicket, moderator of the Springs Pantry, visits to their pantry are up 300% over 2019 and while they have funds for food, the supply of necessary staples has been erratic.
Tijuana Fulford, founder of the Butterfly Effect Project in Riverhead is on the county call list when families are required to quarantine. “We are packing and delivering food to clients’ homes to encourage them to respect quarantine,” said Fulford. “If they don’t work, their children don’t eat, at least we can alleviate their food concerns.”
AFTEE has been able to look across the East End to speak out for the needs of all of East End organizations. “We are determined to help bridge the gap created by this pandemic,” said Aftee’s Pilato.
“It may be pandemic fatigue, but donations have dropped off significantly,” added Pilato. “But we know that this community is up to the challenge.” Corcoran Cares has been encouraging its brokers to make donations to AFTEE during the holiday season, and BRUNELLO CUCINELLI a high end clothing store at 39 Newtown Lane in East Hampton is hosting a shopping event from November 27th – December 3, 2020 with 10% of the proceeds to benefit AFTEE (Hamptons@brunellocucinelliusa.com). “It is still very easy to donate to AFTEE,” says Pilato. “Just go to aftee.org. AFTEE will continue its outreach to assure that the money gets where it is needed as fast as possible.”
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.
For more information or to make a donation visit www.aftee.org or write firstname.lastname@example.org.