East End Cares and the Clamshell Foundation have joined forces to spearhead yet another campaign in support of local food pantries.
In March, the two organizations established the “5 for Food” campaign to provide vital funding for emergency food supplies for local food pantries. Now, they’ve added the “Fund for Food” campaign to support the essential cause.
For the entire month of May, Citarella’s East End stores will offer the chance to donate to the initiative. “This global pandemic is impacting our communities and the ability of our neighbors to feed their families. We’re all affected in one way or another, and we want to help,” Joe Gurrera, the owner of Citarella, explained. “With so many struggling, it’s urgent that we do whatever we can to support our communities. Citarella is proud to participate in the program organized by East End Cares and The Clamshell Foundation to help sustain the food pantries that are so vital to the well-being of our neighbors.”
At the checkout registers at Citarella’s Bridgehampton and East Hampton outposts, shoppers can champion the cause by donating an amount that they select or by rounding up their purchase. Proceeds will be split between the Sag Harbor, Springs, East Hampton and Montauk food pantries.
“This partnership with Citarella kicks off the next and most aggressive phase of our fundraising drive. Since mid-March, our campaign has raised over $45,000 — with every dollar going directly to local food pantries,” Christopher Barry, an East End Cares volunteer who is spearheading the “Fund for Food” campaign, shared. “The simple donation process at check out will help to provide our pantries with the resources they need to meet increasing demands and provide food security for our neighbors.”
Additionally, donations will be collected at the Southampton store in support Heart of the Hamptons (HOH), a Southampton-based nonprofit that offers a food pantry, clothing room, and general assistance programs.
“The operating budgets of our local food pantries exceed $100,000 per month so every bit helps,” EEC volunteer Meredith Maltby, one of the campaign’s coordinators, said. “There is so much need on the East End right now and we are confident this partnership with Citarella can help make a big difference towards funding operations during this challenging time.”
Since the pandemic began, local food pantries have faced an unprecedented demand. On April 1, Heart of the Hamptons distributed to 120+ families, giving out approximately 12,000 pounds of food. On April 29, that nearly doubled, with HOH serving 212 families, 60 of which were new households. In March, the Springs Food Pantry saw a 79 percent increase in the number of clients needing assistance. In the first two weeks of April, those seeking services grew to a 100 percent increase over last year. Before the pandemic, Montauk Food Pantry provided aid to approximately 100 families. Now they are serving close to 300 families.
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.
For more information about Heart of the Hamptons, visit heartofthehamptons.org. For more information about the Sag Harbor Food Pantry, visit www.sagharborfoodpantry.org. For more information about East Hampton Food Pantry, visit easthamptonfoodpantry.org. For more information about Springs Food Pantry, visit www.springsfoodpantry.com. For more information about Montauk Food Pantry, visit www.montaukfoodpantry.org.