To help East End food pantries meet the growing staffing demand created by the increased numbers of clients served, restaurant workers and other employees earning paychecks under the federal government’s Payroll Protection Plan are stepping in to lend a helping hand.
The initiative created under All For the East End’s Feed the Need Campaign utilizes restaurant workers from Sabrosa Mexican Grill in Water Mill and employees from Southampton Youth Services to help volunteers at Heart of the Hamptons food pantry. The pilot swap program, which started this week, is expected to be expanded to other areas, with additional restaurant and pantry partnerships coming soon.
“While New York is temporarily shut down, Sabrosa is happy to participate in this program,” 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 Southampton Youth Services will also participate.
“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,” Southampton Youth Services Executive Director Scott Johnson said. “This is a no-brainer.”
The new program began May 12 at 10 AM with workers loading grocery bags, returning on Wednesday for pantry distribution day at Heart of the Hamptons in Southampton.
“We are eager to see how this all works out,” Heart of the Hamptons Executive Director Hilton Crosby said. “We are so grateful for the cooperation from so many businesses and organizations.”
Restaurant owners and other business owners who would like to help staff the pantries should email [email protected]
All for the East End, a nonprofit organization founded in 2012, is working to support the nonprofit community through its Feed the Need campaign, addressing food instability and related issues spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization’s fund in the Long Island Community Foundation, along with its advisors, manages the grant process to ensure transparency and administers disbursements.