After learning that East End food pantries have become inundated due to soaring demand, Dorothea Bongiovi and John Francis Bongiovi Jr. (AKA Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Jon Bon Jovi
) - who have a home in East Hampton - reached out to local leaders, food banks and pantry managers to formulate a plan of action. That outreach led to establishing the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, which will service East End food pantries.
"The pandemic has strained food distribution networks around the country, and after hearing from organizations on the ground about its local impact, the need for a food bank on the East End became clear to us," Jon Bon Jovi said.
The JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, which has already begun distribution, will be financed through Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, whose mission is "to break the cycle of poverty, hunger and homelessness through developing partnerships, creating programs and providing grant funding to community benefit organizations."
"When most people think about the towns of the East End, they don't necessarily think about hunger, but for many, it is a reality," explained Dorothea Bongiovi.
Once the project's objectives were outlined, the Bongiovis and the JBJ Soul Foundation team got down to business. In just three weeks, they had secured a food distributor US Foods and established a connection with Island Harvest
Food Bank, a hunger relief organization that serves Long Island. Then, they found a home for JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, which will operate out of East Hampton's The Clubhouse thanks to the Scott Rubenstein family who donated space.
"No ZIP code on Long Island is immune to hunger and food insecurity, and the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has created a new standard of need, including among people who have never accessed the region's emergency feeding programs," expressed Randi Shubin Dresner
, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. "We look forward to working with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation in addressing the critical issue of hunger on Long Island's East End to make sure that no one goes hungry."
Different than a food pantry, the charitable entity will work to collect, store and disperse sizable amounts of either purchased or donated food and grocery items to the community through local food pantries.
"Since the COVID-19 crisis began, we have seen demand nearly triple from the after-school families and senior populations we serve. Before, we served approximately 70 people on the first Thursday of every month. Now we serve approximately 200 people per week," relayed Bonnie Cannon, Executive Director of the Bridgehampton Child Care Center, whose food pantry has increase its operation from aiding families once a month to now supplying food to families twice a week. "I am so glad to be part of this endeavor."
In addition to food and essential items, pre-made Soul Kitchen meals will be available for those who lack access to cooking equipment and those that are struggling with homelessness.
The JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank, who will join forces with several food pantries, hopes to provide food for 5,000 individuals on a monthly basis. At the end of the summer, the Foundation will reassess the need for the JBJ Soul Kitchen Food Bank.
For more information, visit jbjsf.org.
Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!
Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices
from the best flooring manufacturers — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968
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.
Burner Law Group, P.C.
Burner Law Group, P.C. are full service elder law attorneys concentrating in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust and Estate Administration and Litigation, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship and Elder Law. Offices in East Setauket‚ NY, Westhampton Beach, NY, and New York, NY.