Pictured Above: AFTEE presents funding to representatives from the Bridgehampton Child Care Center and Quail Hill Farm. | Jim Lennon photo

All For The East End (AFTEE), a group that raises funds for other East End non-profits, launched a “Feed the Need” campaign to raise money for local food pantries at the height of the pandemic looking to raise $1 million.

As of this week, the group announced it has has surpassed that $1 million dollar goal, and is now looking to raise another $1 million to help hungry East Enders make it through the winter ahead.

“We are grateful to all those who have supported AFTEE’s “Feed the Need” campaign, but we know a great deal of help will still be needed,” said AFTEE President Claudia Pilato. “Not everyone went back to work this summer, and the demands on the pantries are still at unprecedented levels. As seasonal work winds down, unemployment benefits end and eviction restrictions are lifted, families will struggle.”  

AFTEE has partnered with the Long Island Community Foundation to provide 56 grants totaling more than $900,000 this year. 

This summer’s fundraising efforts included a virtual “Best Jams” concert, which can still be found on YouTube and a pilot Farm to Food Pantry program with the Peconic Land Trust, in which Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett provided fresh, locally grown produce to the Bridgehampton Child Care Center, with the hopes of expanding to others organizations as the program grows.  

AFTEE also co-sponsored three summer weekends of Drive-in Movies titled “Showtime in Southampton.”  Families were treated to some classic films and parked in social distancing safe zones. 

In August, with the support of the Bridgehampton Lions Club and the Town of Southampton, AFTEE was able to find space at the Bridgehampton Community Center for new  freezers and refrigerators to provide shared space for three food pantries. 

The Bridgehampton Lions Club donated $10,000 for the five industrial grade freezers and refrigerators.

“This is the kind of creative problem solving that is possible working together.  I think the whole community can be proud of these efforts,” said Ms. Pilato.  

Donations can be made online at aftee.org.

Beth Young
Beth Young is an award-winning local journalist who has been covering the East End since the 1990s. She began her career at the Sag Harbor Express and, after receiving her Masters from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, has reported for the Southampton Press, the East Hampton Press and the Times/Review Media Group. She founded the East End Beacon website in 2013, and a print edition in 2017. Beth was born and raised on the North Fork. In her spare time, she tinkers with bicycles, tries not to drown in the Peconic Bay and hopes to grow the perfect tomato. You can send her a message at editor@eastendbeacon.com

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