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.

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