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.

AFTEE seeks support for COVID 19 second wave

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 info@aftee.org.

AFTEE Delivers Refrigeration to Local Food Pantries

AFTEE, All for the East End, delivers refrigerators and freezers to local food pantries in collaborative effort with local Lions Club and the Town of Southampton

The COVID 19 pandemic has put a tremendous burden on East End Food Pantries working hard to keep up with the demand.  One major problem facing many pantries is finding enough refrigeration and freezer capacity to store Food Bank deliveries of fresh meat, poultry and produce.  AFTEE, All for the East End reached out to the Town of Southampton for help and they offered a storage room off the kitchen in the Bridgehampton Senior Center.  AFTEE also enlisted the help of the Bridgehampton Lions Club who offered to foot the bill for the 5 units and made a donation to AFTEE for $10,945.00.  Now, three nearby pantries, Sag Harbor Pantry, Bridgehampton Pantry and the Bridgehampton Child Care Center will use the units to help “Feed the Need”.

The Town of Southampton is pleased to support this effort and provide space at the Bridgehampton Senior Center for the refrigerators and freezers for the pantries during this time of need,” said Southampton Town Housing and Community Services Director, Dian Weir.  “We thank the Lions Club and AFTEE for their generosity.

“This project is a great example of how AFTEE benefits the community,” said AFTEE President Claudia Pilato.  “Because AFTEE is in touch with pantries across the East End we are able to identify similar challenges.  Providing refrigeration with the help of the Bridgehampton Lions Club, at a shared site was a real collaboration that is both efficient and cost effective.”

 John Battle, President of the Bridgehampton Lions Club said, “We are happy to help AFTEE with their “Feed the Need” campaign.  We know the pantries are working overtime to help many in our community get through this terrible time.”

The purchase and donation of the refrigerator and freezer will double our food capacity,” said Tom White the Executive Director of the Bridgehampton Food Pantry.  “It’s a godsend to receive such a wonderful set up especially at such a strange time in our world.”

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude that during these trying times, our community has come together for the Center’s food pantry, and so many others,” said Bonnie Michelle Cannon, Executive Director of the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center.  “We are all in this together.  Having adequate refrigeration and freezer space will allow us to store and offer more meats, chicken and freezer items to our families in need.  We went from serving 70 people a month before the pandemic to serving 700 individuals a week during the pandemic, with no end in sight.”

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. The Feed the Need Campaign is currently addressing issues of food instability and other concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. The AFTEE Fund in the Long Island Community Foundation along with its advisors, manages the grants process to ensure transparency and administers the fund disbursements. 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 info@aftee.org