New Farm to Food Pantry Partnership with Bridgehampton Child Care Center

June 23, 2020

By Yvette DeBow-Salsedo

Quail Hill Farm

New program underwrites support for Quail Hill Farm produce to be provided to The Center’s Food Pantry program during the 2020 growing season.

New Farm to Food Pantry Partnership with Bridgehampton Child Care Center Receives Grant from AFTEE and LICF

Our thanks go out to The Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center (The Center), All For The East End (AFTEE) and the Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) for their trust in us as we embark on an innovative new Farm to Food Pantry program.

Through a $25,000 grant from AFTEE and LICF’s “Feed the Need” grant program, along with a donation from a supporter of the Trust’s Quail Hill Farm, a pilot Farm to Food Pantry program in being underwritten that will provide fresh, locally grown produce to The Center for those in need as a result of the ongoing health and economic crisis brought on by Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

Through this new Farm to Food Pantry program, The Center will be able to provide more food to additional families in need by redirecting funds normally spent on fresh produce toward the purchase of shelf-stable goods, meat and dairy, personal household goods and toiletries. In addition, produce that is harvested and delivered same-day or next-day straight from a local farm will offer the benefit of a longer shelf life compared to produce that is trucked greater distances. Plus, it supports the local economy with a much smaller carbon footprint.

The program began to take shape when a member of Quail Hill Farm made a $5,000 gift to initiate a way to get fresh produce from the farm to people in need. After reaching out to The Center about a potential collaboration, Trust and farm staff put together a budget that would cover the costs to provide fresh produce to The Center over an 18-week period for 350 - 450 people per week. The estimated budget is $55,000. The AFTEE grant will underwrite 9 weeks of the program, covering the direct costs of planting, harvesting, packaging, and delivering the produce.

With $30,000 now in hand, the Trust is currently seeking to raise the $25,000 balance from private donors to cover the full 18-week program. To learn more or to make a contribution in support of this program with The Center to the Trust, contact Development Officer Alison Delaney at 631.283.3195 ext. 44 or Farm Director Layton Guenther at 631.267.8492.

For over 65 years, the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center has served local families and senior citizens in our community through a diverse set of programming that provides education and enrichment to children, teens, and adults, as well as an onsite food pantry. To learn more about The Center, please visit their website at

“We are so excited about this unique community partnership. Before the pandemic, our food pantry was feeding approximately 70 individuals per month. We are now feeding about 450 individuals per week. The need is great, and the heart of this community is rising to the occasion. We are so grateful to AFTEE and LICF. This will be such a blessing for our families. Thank you,” said Bonnie Michelle Cannon, Executive Director, Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center.

“I’m deeply honored to embark on this new project with Bonnie and the entire staff at The Center. We have examined our role as a community farm during this pandemic, a time that has broadened inequities for so many. By digging deeper into this mission, we saw an opportunity to broaden our distribution while committing to food justice and racial equity in our local food system. Furthermore, while most mixed-vegetable growers on the South Fork orient their production schedule around a narrow summertime marketing window, we are now able to extend that window considerably, while feeding local families. It’s a win-win,” said Layton Guenther, Director, Quail Hill Farm.

“We are delighted to help this ambitious pilot program and we hope it serves as a model for other farms to participate in helping our pantries,” said AFTEE Board President, Claudia Pilato. “In less than three months, AFTEE has raised close to $1-million dollars and we have given more than half of it to the East End pantries and other organizations that have stepped forward to help our community during the Pandemic. Our hope is that the Quail Hill Farm to pantry program will grow each year and it will be joined by other farms providing fresh local produce to those who do not have easy access to healthy food.”

“While often invisible to some East End residents and vacationers, hunger is an unfortunate reality for countless individuals in our community. The pandemic has caused an exponential spike in the number of people that are in dire need of such a basic human necessity … food,” said David Okorn, Executive Director, Long Island Community Foundation. The Long Island Community Foundation is proud to be partnering with AFTEE to address food insecurity in the five East End Towns. This pilot program between Quail Hill Farm and Bridgehampton Childcare provides such a unique opportunity to assist nearly 500 people a week with nutritious fresh produce.”

“We are so grateful to AFTEE and LICF for their willingness to think outside the box and fund this unique and collaborative pilot program between the Trust, our Quail Hill Farm, and The Center. This has happened very quickly, and we are proud to be helping the people most in need within our community by providing them with fresh, local food. It is a win-win for everyone and serves as a model for other farms and organizations to work together during this unprecedented crisis,” said Trust President John V.H. Halsey.

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 by providing an accessible source of funding. The Feed the Need Campaign is currently addressing issues of food instability and other concerns raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Long Island Community Foundation partners with AFTEE to manage the grant process to ensure transparency, and administers the fund disbursements. The AFTEE grant advisory committee includes one member from each of the five East End towns. Learn more about the work of AFTEE and the Long Island Community Foundation.

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