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AFTEE Grant Helps Support Year 2 of Farm to Food Pantry Program

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Quail Hill Farm
March 16, 2021

The generosity of our community is amazing. Last year, Quail Hill Farm’s Farm to Food Pantry Program provided fresh local produce to over 700 families weekly at the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center (The Center). This was all made possible thanks to donations from farm members and a grant from All for the East End (AFTEE) at the Long Island Community Foundation (LICF).

This year, Quail Hill Farm has been awarded another $25,000 to support the Farm to Food Pantry Program through AFTEE’s Feed the Need Campaign – and has received many donations from the farm’s community. The program has been expanded this year to 25 weeks at an estimated cost of $65,000. Thanks to the grant from AFTEE/LICF, as well as support from many of our donors, the farm will again provide produce to The Center during the 2021 season at no cost to the Center.

Trust President John v.H. Halsey remarked, “The generosity of our community members is truly inspiring. We thank AFTEE and the LICF, along with our Quail Hill Farm community for really stepping up by underwriting this important program to our neighbors in need. And, a special thank you to the staff and board of the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center for all you do, every day.”

In 2020, Quail Hill Farmers picked, packed and delivered over 22,000 lbs of vegetables to The Center – usually all in the same day. This is key to ensuring peak nutritiousness of the food. Among many other crops, the farm delivered over 1,500 bunches of collard greens and kale, 2,000 lbs of tomatoes, and 1,000 lbs each of sweet peppers, potatoes, winter squash and sweet potatoes. This allowed The Center to not only provide fresh, locally grown produce to its clients on a consistent basis, but also enabled them to reallocate their spending toward meat and non-perishable items. “We are especially grateful to AFTEE for the partnership with the Peconic Land Trust and Quail Hill Farm, which provided our families with fresh healthy produce all last growing season,” said The Center’s Executive Director Bonnie Michelle Cannon.

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Sweet peppers harvested at Quail Hill Farm

Remarking on the program, Layton Guenther, Director of Quail Hill Farm said, “It is an honor to grow healthy, organic food for the families of The Center. Our partnership is rooted in our common goal: to support and uplift members of our East End community through programming that nourishes mind, body and soul. As farmers, we’re proud to carry this relationship forward into a new growing season, and we thank AFTEE and all of our donors for their generous support.”

Before this farm to food pantry program began between Quail Hill Farm and The Center last summer, the amount of fresh produce The Center was able to collect and distribute was very limited. By establishing a direct connection between The Center’s food pantry and a local farm, this program models an efficient and reliable means to distribute local produce to people most in need – and it supports the food pantry, the farm, and the local economy.

While Quail Hill Farm does not have produce to provide to the pantry during the off season, Layton and the team worked with nearby Amber Waves Farm to continue to provide local food to The Center through the winter months. Amber Waves, which was founded by two former Quail Hill Farm apprentices, grows food on land protected by a conservation easement held by the Trust. They are providing The Center with freshly made soups and vegetables.

“We hope the Quail Hill/BHCCC program will serve as a model of what can be achieved when we work together and think creatively. By funding this program we are both supporting local farming and helping those who experience food instability. There is nothing better than locally grown, fresh produce and sharing that harvest with those who really need it. We are proud to be part of the team that is making this partnership possible,” said AFTEE Board President, Claudia Pilato.

The Trust hopes that the Farm to Food Pantry Program can be used as a model for other farms in the seasons to come. Quail Hill Farm is looking forward to once again partnering with our friends at The Center, where we know everyone is already looking forward to the coming of fresh greens once Spring is in full swing! To learn more or to make a contribution to the Trust in support of our Farm to Food Pantry program , contact Development Officer Alison Delaney at 631.283.3195, ext. 44 or Farm Director Layton Guenther at 631.267.8492.

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