East End Food Hub

Dear Food Community,

East End Food Institute just turned ten years old and has established its niche in streamlining connections within the local food system. Over the years, we have recruited, trained, and collaborated with hundreds of farmers and food producers, made countless products from local farm produce, and donated thousands of pounds of vegetables and fruits to food pantries regionally. 

Much of East End Food Institute’s work is now centralized at a commercial kitchen on the Stony Brook University Southampton campus. The kitchen was once used to serve meal plans to undergraduate students when Long Island University owned the campus, and is now in need of upgrades. East End Food Institute has leveraged the current infrastructure as much as possible to test the recommendations of its 2015 Food Hub Feasibility Study. With a track record of success as a local food processor, the time has come to look toward a broader vision for the future.  

In late 2019, the East End Food Institute was awarded a 20% matching grant of up to $300,000 via New York State’s Long Island Regional Economic Development Council to establish a new East End Food Hub. With this New York State endorsement, we now have the unique opportunity to build capacity to more efficiently and effectively serve local and regional food growers and producers in a thriving local food system.

Please make a tax-deductible contribution to help us raise the $1.5 million project cost and build our operating capacity as we continue to grow toward our vision of creating an East End Food Hub:

  • Any amount helps us to cover operating costs as we diversify and increase funding sources
  • $5,000 allows us to donate about 2,000 lbs of frozen vacuum-sealed local produce to a food bank
  • $10,000 offsets annual costs for short-term distribution partners that transport local products
  • $25,000 helps us purchase a new high volume produce processing machine to improve efficiency
  • $50,000 funds a new pump and bottling line to improve efficiency and food safety
  • $100,000 goes toward completing necessary renovations to the kitchen and educational space

The East End of Long Island is home to some of the nation’s most productive agricultural soils. Two-thirds of Suffolk County farms operate on less than 50 acres of land, and many of our small- to mid-sized farms are struggling. Growers on the East End of Long Island face a local economy that relies largely on seasonal tourism, and many farmers face obstacles to expanding their business models beyond peak-season retail sales.

Limited infrastructure, qualified staffing, and time necessary for food processing and distribution also present a challenge to refocusing business plans and increasing revenue. Add to that the increased regional prevailing wages and limited housing availability for workers, and farmers are left with a significantly challenging climate within which to operate an agricultural business.

The team at East End Food Institute works very hard behind the scenes to support, promote, and advocate for local farmers and food producers. We are also collaborating with partners to feed community members in need. Please make a tax deductible donation to support our vision for a more sustainable and equitable food system.

Contributions can be made online or by check mailed to PO Box 356, Southampton, NY 11969. To make a gift via stock transfer, please email kate@eastendfood.org or call (631) 632-5129.

With sincere thanks,

Kate Fullam
Executive Director

P.S. Here’s a direct link to donate: https://eastendfood.kindful.com/