TFCU makes $5K donation to help Port Jeff restaurants feed hospital workers


Every little bit helps.

But Teachers Federal Credit Union just came through in a very big way for Port Jefferson restaurants scrambling to deliver food to Mather and St. Charles hospital workers in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

Teachers representatives on Monday presented $5,000 to ongoing fundraising efforts being sponsored by and managed by the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.

A short press conference was held outside PJ Lobster House to announce the donation.

“The credit union movement is all about people helping people, whether in good times or bad,” said Francis Collins, the senior vice president of credit at Teachers. “We’re just happy that we’re able to make this contribution, especially at a local place like PJ Lobster House that is so famous in this area.”

The online fundraiser to help the local restaurants and frontline hospital workers was already nearing $7,000 as of April 6. The money is being distributed to a growing list of participating restaurants by the Chamber of Commerce.

 Click here to donate.

The restaurants then use the money to pay for the food and delivery to the local hospitals.

PJ Lobster House is among those restaurants (full list below).

“This definitely helps turn product and helps with a few extra dollars to pay the employees to keep going,” said owner James Luciano. “If everybody gets a little bit, it keeps the flow going.”

Port Jefferson Village Mayor Margot Garant also announced Monday that both the village and the Business Improvement District will each be matching Teachers’ $5,000 donation.

“To keep these meals moving along,” Garant said.

“Any support we can get from partners and our residents to help keep our restaurants and businesses relevant and open at this time to feed the frontlines is fantastic and we appreciate,” she said.

The BID’s president, Roger Rutherford of Roger’s Frigate, called the restaurants and shops the community’s “backbone.”

“And when we see partners like TFCU stepping up like this, it’s a really wonderful thing and it helps us sustain and weather the storm,” Rutherford said.

The chamber’s president, Mary Joy Pipe, of East End Shirt Co., who accepted the donation, thanked the Teachers representatives for thinking of Port Jeff as “your hometown.”

Collins, of Teachers, noted that the credit union is now partnering with Newtek of Lake Success to provide access for local businesses to receive SBA emergency relief loans, whether people bank with Teachers or not, he said. Businesses can visit Teachers website in the coming days for additional information.

Photo (L-R): Roger Rutherford, president of the BID, Mayor Margot Garant, chamber president Mary Joy Pipe, Francis Collins of Teachers, Inna Sprague, also of Teachers, PJ Lobster House owner James Luciano, John Bauer of Crest Hospitality and Stuart Vincent of Mather Hospital. (Michael White)

the restaurants:

Slurp, Nantuckets, Prohibition Kitchen, Wave Seafood & Steak, Pasta Pasta, The Steam Room, Fifth Season, C’est Cheese, Harbor Grill/Saghar, The Pie, PJ Lobster House, Salsa Salsa (list provided by the chamber)

Photo (L-R): Roger Rutherford, president of the BID, Mayor Margot Garant, chamber president Mary Joy Pipe, Francis Collins of Teachers, Inna Sprague, also of Teachers, and PJ Lobster House owner James Luciano. (Credit: Michael White)