Log In   ·   Become A Member

INTERVIEW: ARF Rescue Director And Volunteer Coordinator Jake Kommer Reflects On The 1st Anniversary Of The Animal Rescue’s Pet Food Pantry

T.J. Clemente

The ARF team at the ARF Pet Food Pantry's one-year anniversary pick up and drop off. (Photo: Lisa Tamburini/www.hamptonsphotog.com)

Jake Kommer, Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF) Rescue Director and Volunteer Coordinator, is leading the COVID-19 pandemic created demand for pet food assistance from ARF, who is offering free pet food through a monthly drive-through pet food pantry at the ARF Adoption Center in East Hampton. Their accomplishments to date are impressive. Kommer reported that ARF has collected and distributed a total "well over 14,000 lbs. of wet and dry dog and cat food for the vast pet community in need and local food pantries." He said, "Food brings people together and so do pets, so when we realized there was a need in the community, we knew it was our job to step up and help our friends and neighbors."

Kommer, when asked how he would grade the first year of the ARF Pet Food Pantry, said, "It has been a real learning experience for all of us. There have been so many different things to overcome, such as learning how to do a pet food pantry and getting the word out there. I think we have done a fantastic job so far. I'd like to do a big thank you to our volunteers, Mr. Paul Hecht, Shari Thompson and lastly Alex McCue."

Part of the success of the pantry is the now created flow of goods, both brought to the pantry by donors and taken by those in need. On this Kommer said, "At our last event we had a total of 46 cars take part. Usually, it is fairy equal as to dropping off and picking up. But this last event was our first event that we had more people coming to pick up then drop off. I believe we are reaching 20 to 30 families in need with each event."

When asked what he meant by "event," Kommer explained, "It's a monthly event. It's changed a bit since we initially started. We have just come around to a year, our first event was April 25, 2020. At that point everything was in flux due to the pandemic. It was our first pet food pantry. We had just put the word out, asked people to come on down with any spare pet food they had, we then filled up a van, and afterwards we contacted the local food pantries and distributed it that way. Our next event was in July of 2020. The April event had absolutely avalanched us with pet food, we were distributing for months afterwards. Once we finally ran out in July, we decided to set up monthly events."

He continued, "Back then we had two distinct events. A drop off date and then the next weekend would be a pickup date. At that point it was bi-weekly. We switched over in November 2020 to on the same day. We now have our one event per month, any additional food we have left over we make sure that the people who aren't able to attend our event are still able to take advantage of the resource that we have here. So, any additional food is divvied up and delivered to the local food pantries including, Heart of the Hamptons in Southampton, The East Hampton Food Pantry, Montauk and Sag Harbor."

Kommer said ARF concluded that having a combined monthly event made it more probable to reach more people. It was better for the morale of all those involved and canceled perhaps any feeling of "stigma" for those in need.

"The most important thing to me was when we started to see familiar faces on both sides," he noted. "The donating and the picking up, just because it felt like these people realized that we could be a consistent source of food, be able to provide the surety and the stability of food in a time where so many people are dealing with a tough situation."

Kommer noted that ARF accepts donations of wet or dry dog or cat food, as long as it is closed. They cannot take opened food. He said they tend to see more dog food come in, but they actually need more cat food because many folks take care of cat colonies, beside their own personal cats. ARF has remained open throughout the pandemic, and has started welcoming the public back for scheduled adoption appointments, as well as training classes for the animals.

"The outpouring of generosity has been absolutely heartwarming and really has given us a lot of hope in a time when hope has been hard to come by," Kommer concluded.

Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons is located at 124 Daniels Hole Road in East Hampton. For more information, visit arfhamptons.org.

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

New York Title Abstract Services, Inc.
We are a title insurance services company dedicated to promptly delivering fully compliant and accurate reports, and title insurance, for residential and commercial real estate throughout New York State. Headquartered in the Hamptons, our professional team has extensive real estate experience and understands the business from all sides including title insurance, legal, sales, governmental, banking, and lending regulations.

Hamilton Hoge
As the owner’s representative our practice encompasses all aspects of a project from pre-purchase property due diligence, program development iterations, advisement on systems, analyze contracts/vendors, critical path analysis, feasibility and schedule. The strength of our approach is in facilitating organized communication. We strongly analyze all representations and warranties for the protection and benefit of our client.

The Citarella Standard. We’re passionate about sourcing and selling the world’s best seafood. When you order our fresh seafood online, what you receive always reflects the unrivaled standard of our markets. It’s hand-prepared, never frozen, and shipped overnight. 631-283-6600.