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Community Restaurants Gather To Support Health Care Workers Through East Hampton Eats Initiative

Sydney A. Braat

The 1770 House's Tavern Meatloaf with Spinach, Mashed Potatoes, and a Roaster Garlic Sauce - a house favorite was featured in Ina Garten's cookbook. (Photo: Robyn Lea)

The Village Preservation Society (VPS) of East Hampton has joined a local partnership called East Hampton Eats - A Community Food Fund. Joe Rose, a long-time local restaurateur, started the initiative in conjunction with VPS to provide take-out meals to essential workers and those in need.

"The coronavirus has created not only a public health emergency, but also an economic crisis. Abrupt staff layoffs have caused serious hardship for vulnerable workers and we also deeply appreciate the extra effort and risk that essential business and public service workers have been making. We want to help," said Rose.

In a trial run of the program, the team delivered over 150 meal coupons redeemed by local workers and the food insecure.

"We need to come together as a community to support each other and help out those who are struggling," remarked Rose.

The distribution of meal coupons has been possible thanks to the help of East Hampton Clericus, religious leaders in the Latino community, as well as local civic organizations.

John McGuirk, VPS Chairman, added, "It's gratifying to know that we've found a way to thank our local essential workers during this extraordinary time while directing some needed business to our local restaurants - a win-win. It's a small gesture to those who are keeping things running now, but represents the gratitude of the entire community. We're proud to be a part of it."

"Stony Brook Southampton Hospital healthcare workers were oversubscribed, which led us to reach out to the essential workers and food insecure in our community. Offering folks a meal one night a week lightens the load to a small degree," VPS Executive Director Kathleen Cunningham stated.

Local restaurants like Fresno, Cittanuova, The 1770 House, and Honest Man Restaurant Group - which encompasses Nick & Toni's, Rowdy Hall, Townline BBQ, Coche Comedor, La Fondita and Honest Catering - are benefitting from this initiative. "When Joe Rose called me about this, I thought it was a great idea. Providing meals for people in need and supporting the local restaurants. This is what community is about. Thank you for the support," said Mark Smith, Honest Man Restaurant Group co-owner.

"The program is clever. Essential workers get a specially prepared meal. Local restaurants are kept working. The generosity of donors to this Village Preservation Society fund touches many in East Hampton. We really appreciate it," reflected Carol Covell, General Manager, The 1770 House.

Donations to East Hampton Eats can be made to Village Preservation Society: East Hampton Eats and mailed to PO Box 2015, East Hampton, NY 11937 or online at www.villagepreservationsociety.org. For other inquiries, call 631-324-3524.

Sydney Braat is a Hamptons-raised and NYC-living journalist. She enjoys splitting her time between the bustling city life and relaxing atmosphere of the Hamptons. When she's not writing, Sydney is traveling. She thrives off of new experiences, cultures, cuisine, and languages. Sydney writes about the arts, philanthropy, food & wine, and shopping. https://www.sosydneyny.com/ sydneybraat

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