AFTEE’s Feed the Need Campaign Awards Year 2 Grant for Innovative Farm to Food Pantry Program

February 25, 2021

Funding supports continuation of successful 2020 pilot program that provided fresh produce from the Trust’s Quail Hill Farm to the Food Pantry at the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center

AFTEE’s Feed the Need Campaign Awards Year 2 Grant for Innovative Farm to Food Pantry Program

Funding supports continuation of successful 2020 pilot program that provided fresh produce from Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm to the Food Pantry at the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center

Bridgehampton, New York (February 25, 2021).

All For The East End (AFTEE) and the Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) announce a new grant of $25,000 to underwrite year 2 of a successful Farm to Food Pantry program between the Peconic Land Trust’s Quail Hill Farm and the Bridgehampton Child Care & Recreational Center.

The Farm to Food Pantry program provides fresh, locally grown produce to those encountering health and economic challenges as a result of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Before the onset of COVID-19, The Center’s food pantry operated once a month and provided food to 70 people. Since COVID-19, the need has spiked dramatically. By the end of 2020, The Center was providing food to 700 or more people per week.

Thanks to the grant from AFTEE/LICF as well as support from many of its donors, Quail Hill Farm, a stewardship project of the Peconic Land Trust, will provide produce to The Center, at no cost to The Center for 25 weeks beginning in May 2021. The estimated cost of this year’s program is $65,000.

The farm, among the early Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the U.S., is located in Amagansett, New York, on land donated to the Peconic Land Trust by Deborah Ann Light. Since it was established in 1990, Quail Hill Farm has grown to 35 acres, serving over 250 families. It cultivates crops using organic practices on Deep Lane and Town Lane in Amagansett.

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.

This in turn allows The Center to not only provide fresh, locally grown produce to its clients on a consistent basis, but also enables them to reallocate their spending toward meat and non-perishable items.

The program began to take shape in the spring of 2020 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 through the 2020 growing season. The AFTEE grant, received in May 2020, plus additional donations made by the Quail Hill Farm/Peconic Land Trust donor community covered the cost for the first year’s program.

“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.

“Food insecurity has been a longstanding issue for many people on Long Island, including residents of the East End. The coronavirus pandemic has exponentially increased the number of individuals and families in our local community who are in need of basic essentials such as food,” said David Okorn, executive director of the Long Island Community Foundation. “During the height of the pandemic the Quail Hill Farm Food to Pantry program demonstrated its ability to provide an abundance of fresh, healthy and nutritious vegetables that are required for a balanced diet. As such, we are proud to once again provide funding to support this initiative serving our neighbors in need.”

"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. The pandemic has, of course, had a terrible impact on our community, but it also showed just how strong, generous and compassionate our community is. I am heartened everyday by what we can do as a community when we work together for the greater good,” said Trust President John v.H. Halsey.

“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. In 2020, Quail Hill Farmers picked, packed, and delivered over 22,000 pounds of vegetables to The Center -- usually all in the same day, which is key to ensuring peak nutritiousness. Among many other crops, they delivered over 1,500 bunches of collard greens and kale, 2,000 pounds of tomatoes, and 1,000 pounds each of sweet peppers, potatoes, winter squash and sweet potatoes. AFTEE has come to our aid again and the partnership will continue in 2021. We are living in gratitude,” said Bonnie Michelle Cannon, Executive Director, BHCCRC.

"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 are proud to carry this relationship forward into a new growing season, and we thank AFTEE and all of our donors for their generous support," said Layton Guenther, Director, Quail Hill Farm.

Peconic Land Trust and Quail Hill Farm: Founded in 1983, Peconic Land Trust conserves Long Island’s working farms, natural lands, and heritage. Since its inception, the nonprofit Trust has worked conscientiously with landowners, communities, all levels of government, partner organizations, and donors, to conserve over 13,000 acres of land on Long Island. While working to conserve the productive farms, watersheds, woodlands, and beachfront of Long Island, the Trust is also protecting the unique rural heritage and natural resources of the region. Established in 1990, The Trust’s Quail Hill Farm is on 35 acres generously donated to the Trust by Deborah Ann Light in Amagansett, NY. Over the farm’s history, more than 120 farm apprentices have been trained – with many of those still engaged in farming today. Training apprentices and providing share members with informational resources on the issues of soil health, our seed supply, food security and sustainable, and organic farming practices is a central part of the farm’s mission. For more information visit

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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