All For The East End Almost Halfway To Goal

AFTEE fundraising helps nonprofits such as the Springs Food Pantry, where a volunteer prepares a bag of groceries for a local in need.

Only a few weeks after the kickoff of its Feed the Need campaign, the nonprofit All For The East End has raked in more than $450,000.

A number of donations were rapidly received, including grants from the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, the Willem de Kooning Foundation, the Town of Southampton, Nicolette Donen and Clifford Ross, and an anonymous donor. Many online credit card donations were also collected. The goal is to raise $1 million to address food insecurity on the East End.

All For The East End partnered with the Long Island Community Foundation to administer the grant process, which has been streamlined to expedite dishing out the funds. Partner food pantries currently include the Church of St. Rosalie in Hampton Bays, Heart of the Hamptons in Southampton, Old Whalers’ Church in Sag Harbor, East Hampton Food Pantry, Springs Food Pantry, St. Therese of Lisieux Church in Montauk, and Community Action-Southold Town in Greenport. These groups are just beginning to receive the critical funding as the COVID-19-related crisis continues to worsen.

“There is an incredible need,” said Hilton Crosby, executive director of Southampton’s Heart of the Hamptons. “We provided 7331 meals in the month of January, before the pandemic. Last week, 7370 meals went in two hours. It’s staggering. Just coordinating volunteers and packing grocery bags has been challenging.”

CAST Executive Director Cathy Demeroto said her organization’s line wraps around the corner.

“We were spending about $1200 a week before the pandemic, now we are spending $ 7000 a week and it’s getting worse,” she said. “We have seen people pass away; this virus is scaring everyone. I’m worried about my volunteers.”

One of those seeking help is a 19-year-old Southold High School senior who is hoping to graduate this year. She’s been living on her own, with her father living in Connecticut and her mother in Guatemala. She was learning how to cook through a CAST program while working as a busser in a Greenport restaurant, but lost her job because of the stay-at-home order. She had to make a choice between paying rent and buying food.

“The pantry people are very nice to me,” she said. “I wish I could give them something in return.”

“I am overwhelmed and gratified to see the amazing generosity that is coming not only to All For The East End, but to many local organizations,” said All For The East End president Claudia Pilato. “The need is so great, but we are all working together to help our community. This is only the beginning of both the effort and the need.”

Springs Pantry Chairperson Holly Wheaton said before the spread of COVID-19 the pantry fed 65 families weekly. Last week, it served 190.

“It’s very humbling — just surreal — but I have to say it’s remarkable to see the community coming together from all walks of life,” Wheaton said. “People who were helping us before the pandemic now need help. I don’t think the numbers are going to go down.”

Other pantries have seen an even more explosive increase in demand.

Vicki Littman, chairperson of the East Hampton Food Pantry said by this time last year her group fed 1039 individuals in the first quarter, and would be slowing down services by now, because seasonal workers would be going back to work.

“Last week alone we fed 604 people,” she said. “They are so grateful. They call us their food pantry family . . . We’re going to get through this together. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help.”

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club president Brett Pickett said he’s happy he can assist.

“We are incredibly grateful to All For The East End for organizing this mission to get food quickly and efficiently to those most in need in our broader community,” he said. “It is an honor to support Feed the Need on behalf of our members and employees.”

Citing a rapidly-growing economic crisis related to the novel coronavirus, community, business, and government leaders, led by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, came together to address food-related needs and other emerging issues. A community outreach program was also formed, which will include pantry representation, as well as local elected officials, clergy, and business leaders, to direct the resources where they’re needed most.

“The shutdown of our economy is necessary for public health, but it’s hitting our workforce hard,” Schneiderman said. “Food pantries are seeing a surge in families seeking assistance. Fortunately, those in a strong financial position to weather this storm are opening their hearts and their wallets to help those in need.”

Registered nonprofit organizations can apply for a grant on the organization’s website. For more information or to donate, visit www.aftee.org.

[email protected]

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April 22, 2020

Only a few weeks after the kickoff of its Feed the Need campaign, the nonprofit All For The East End has raked in more than $450,000.

A number of donations were rapidly received, including grants from the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, the Willem de Kooning Foundation, the Town of Southampton, Nicolette Donen and Clifford Ross, and an anonymous donor. Many online credit card donations were also collected. The goal is to raise $1 million to address food insecurity on the East End.

“We are incredibly grateful to All For The East End for organizing this mission to get food quickly and efficiently to those most in need in our broader community,” Shinnecock Hills Golf Club President Brett Pickett said. “It is an honor to support Feed the Need on behalf of our members and employees.”

Citing a rapidly-growing economic crisis related to the COVID-19 pandemic, community, business, and government leaders, led by Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman, came together to address food-related needs and other emerging issues. A community outreach program was also formed, which will include pantry representation, as well as local elected officials, clergy, and business leaders, to direct the resources where they’re needed most.

“The shutdown of our economy is necessary for public health, but it’s hitting our workforce hard,” Schneiderman said. “Food pantries are seeing a surge in families seeking assistance. Fortunately, those in a strong financial position to weather this storm are opening their hearts and their wallets to help those in need.”

All For The East End partnered with the Long Island Community Foundation to administer the grant process, which has been streamlined to expedite dishing out the funds. Partner food pantries currently include the Church of St. Rosalie in Hampton Bays, Heart of the Hamptons in Southampton, Old Whalers’ Church in Sag Harbor, East Hampton Food Pantry, Springs Food Pantry, St. Therese of Lisieux Church in Montauk, and Community Action-Southold Town in Greenport.

“I am overwhelmed and gratified to see the amazing generosity that is coming not only to All For The East End, but to many local organizations,” said All For The East End President Claudia Pilato. “The need is so great, but we are all working together to help our community. This is only the beginning of both the effort and the need.”

Registered nonprofit organizations can apply for a grant on the organization’s website. For more information or to make a donation, visit www.aftee.org.

[email protected]

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