As uncertainly about what the next couple of weeks and even months will bring grows, The Clamshell Foundation and East End Cares (EEC) have turned their attention to raising vital funding for emergency food supplies for local food pantries.
“COVID-19 has left many in our community without jobs or alternate means of support,” Christopher Barry, an EEC member who is spearheading a community-wide initiative with Kori Peters, President of the Clamshell Foundation, explained.
That is bound to result in an overwhelming demand on the food pantries. To help lessen the strain, EEC and The Clamshell Foundation are launching an emergency “5 for Food” campaign. “We hope, by asking for just a $5 donation, everyone will be able to join in,” Barry, a resident of East Hampton and Manhattan and a finance executive for A + E Networks, noted. “Every dollar will go directly to provide emergency food to the East Hampton Food Pantry, Springs Food Pantry, Sag Harbor Food Pantry, and Montauk Food Pantry.”
“The compassion, love, and outpouring of support the Food Pantry has received from the community has meant so much to the Food Pantry. We live in a special community, one that when there’s a need everyone comes out to help,” Vicki Littman, East Hampton Food Pantry Chairperson, shared. “We are forever grateful to East End Cares and The Clamshell Foundations for their ‘5 For Food Campaign’ for helping to keep the food pantries shelves stocked.”
Both East End Cares and The Clamshell Foundation’s mission are focused on championing the local community.
“East End Cares is gratified to be collaborating with the Clamshell Foundation and such an incredible team of volunteers who came together from various disciplines to support the 5 for Food campaign,” Barry reflected. “With the community behind us, I believe that we can fill these food pantries and the bellies and hearts of our neighbors in need.”
The Clamshell Foundation was established in 1992 to support the East End’s people, initiatives, and organizations. 100 percent of all proceeds the Foundation raises is reinvested back into the community. EEC, an online platform that unites those who want to give back with opportunities to provide aid, was founded in response to Superstorm Sandy.
“We are so thankful for East End Cares. It is an honor to be working with them as we strive to make a difference in the community during this difficult time,” William Kalbacher, CEO of The Clamshell Foundation, said. “Thank you to everyone who is helping others stay safe and healthy.”
Proceeds from the campaign will be utilized to procure vital emergency food supplies – as it is expected that more and more community members will need to rely upon the food pantries to feed their families. The Montauk Food Pantry already sees easily 100 clients or more each week, the Springs Community Food Pantry serves approximately 100 families, and the East Hampton Food Pantry serves 7,000 households annually.
“In so many ways we are already a paycheck to paycheck community — and now, too many of our neighbors face unemployment without sick pay or benefits of any kind. Food is the most basic of needs for every individual and every family. Food is love. And we want to share as much of both as we can,” Melissa Berman, one of the founders of EEC, added.
Donations, which are tax deductible, can be made online at clamshellfoundation.org.
In addition to the “5 for Food” campaign, East End Cares is also mobilizing volunteers to assist those in need. If you want to sign up to volunteer, or need assistance, email [email protected].