Innovative AFTEE Program Uses Restaurant Workers to Help Pantries

Bridgehampton, New York (May 11, 2020). In an effort to help East End food pantries meet the growing staffing demand created by the increased numbers served by pantries, restaurant workers and other employees earning paychecks under the Federal Government’s PPP (Payroll Protection Plan) are stepping in to lend a helping hand. An initiative program created by AFTEE’s Feed the Need Campaign utilizes restaurant workers from Sabrosa Mexican Grill in Water Mill and employees from SYS (Southampton Youth Services) to help volunteers at the “Heart of the Hamptons” food pantry. The pilot program, which starts this week, is expected to be expanded to other areas, with additional restaurant/pantry partnerships in the near future.

“While NYS is temporarily on shutdown, Sabrosa is happy to participate in this program using our employees at the local food pantry,” said restaurant owner Donna Andreassi. The Sabrosa team is committed to helping our community and this will allow us to do our part to help those in need at this difficult time.”

Two workers from SYS (Southampton Youth Services) will also participate in the new swap program. “We know these pantries are tapped out, many of their volunteers are elderly and are forced to stay home, while we have employees earning paychecks who are more than able and willing to step up,” said Scott Johnson the Executive Director of SYS. “This is a no brainer and while SYS remains closed, we are more than happy to help the pantries.”

The new program begins Tuesday, May 12th at 10am with workers loading grocery bags, and then returning on Wednesday for pantry distribution day at “Heart of the Hamptons” in Southampton. Hilton Crosby, Executive Director of Heart of the Hamptons said, “We are eager to see how this all works out! We are so grateful for the cooperation from so many businesses and organizations.”

The restaurant swap program is expected to expand throughout the East End. Restaurant owners and other business owners who would like to help staff the pantries should email

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 or write