For the third summer in a row, Citarella stores on the South Fork are raising money for the nonprofit East End Fund for Children, and anybody who shops in the gourmet markets in East Hampton, Bridgehampton, or Southampton through Labor Day will have the opportunity to do their part to help.
The fund began as a response to Covid as a way to support local organizations doing critical work for the area's young people and working families. The fund works with the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreational Center, the Children’s Museum of the East End in Bridgehampton, the Eleanor Whitmore Early Childhood Center in East Hampton, the mentoring program I-Tri, Project Most, the Retreat, and the Southampton Youth Association. Those organizations provide food, mental health support, educational and recreational programming, day care, and counseling services, reaching a combined 3,500 children every week, according to a press release.
At checkout counters all summer, shoppers at Citarella markets will be encouraged to donate to the East End Fund for Children when they make their purchases. In addition, this summer kids in programs run by the nonprofits will create artwork with a sea creature theme. Eight winning artworks will be chosen to be reproduced on limited-edition canvas tote bags.
"As a member of this community for over 20 years, helping our neighbors is important to me and everyone at Citarella," Joe Gurrera, the owner of Citarella, said in a release announcing the 2023 fund-raising campaign. "Over the past two years, we’ve helped to raise over $200,000 in support of E.E.F.C.’s crucial mission to provide essential food and educational programming to the East End's vulnerable children. Along with our customers, we aim to make this year the most successful yet."
Direct donations and more about the organizations benefiting from the partnership with Citarella can be found online at eastendfund4kids.org.