Food Bank For New York City fights hunger across the five boroughs

New York City, home to an enormous number of supermarkets and restaurants, is also home to 1.4 million residents throughout the five boroughs who experience difficulty affording food. Most are women, children, seniors, the working poor and people with disabilities, all of who rely on soup kitchens and food pantries to get the food they need. As food costs continue to rise, and federal support programs experience deep cuts, food pantries and soup kitchens across the city are seeing longer lines.

The emergency food network is the resource of last resort for those struggling to keep food on the table when all other resources are exhausted. Yet the emergency food supply is not sufficient to meet the demand. Today, four out of five food pantries and soup kitchens continue to see increased visitor traffic, while many continue to experience food shortages.

To address this need, Food Bank For New York City, one of the largest food banks in the country, secures and distributes food to a network of more than 1,000 charities and schools citywide, including food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers and the like, providing nearly 63 million free meals to New Yorkers in need.

While the immediate need is to provide meals to hungry individuals, the leadership of Food Bank recognizes that it’s important to provide longer-term solutions to food poverty. Their income support services, including food stamps (also known as SNAP) and free tax assistance for the working poor, that put more than $150 million each year into the pockets of New Yorkers, helping them to afford food and achieve greater dignity and independence. Food Bank’s nutrition education programs and services empower more than 45,000 children, teens and adults to sustain a healthy diet and active lifestyle on a low budget. Working toward long-term solutions to food poverty, Food Bank also develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts.

Bank of America has supported Food Bank For New York City since 2008, both through grants and with thousands of employee volunteer hours. Since 2008, the bank has funded Food Bank with more than $500,000 for general operating support. In addition, since 2011, the bank has provided an additional $25,000 a year to food pantries in each borough, which continue to a significant uptick in demand, and are implementing innovative new programs to meet those demands. Volunteers from the bank are active at Food Bank’s central food Warehouse and Distribution Center in the Hunts Point Cooperative Market and at Food Bank’s Community Kitchen & Pantry in Harlem. Last year, more than 300 Bank of America employees volunteered at the warehouse and the Harlem Kitchen, repacking 17,000 pounds of food, and providing 13,000 meals.

Edith Hines Danzy, a member of Food Bank’s Neighborhood Center for Adults 60+ at the Community Kitchen & Food Pantry, said "The Senior Center is a place in the neighborhood where I can socialize with my community. It has helped me maximize my budget through the pantry program, the daily nutritious meals that are served, and assistance from the tax program. I think it is important to support the Center because it is of such value to the community."

According to Lisa Hines-Johnson, Chief Operating Officer at Food Bank For New York City, “This fight against poverty takes a lot of resources, passion and commitment. Bank of America has been a supporter of the Food Bank For New York City for many years and, in that time, the support they have provided to us has been tremendous. For every dollar that’s donated to Food Bank we’re able to provide five meals—an impressive number. Having Bank of America stick with us through tough times has been incredibly important to us.”

Jeff Barker, Bank of America’s New York City Market President, said, “We partnered with Food Bank because we saw a critical need. Together, we’re committed to eradicating food poverty and food insecurity in New York. We can only be successful as a bank if the communities that we serve are successful, and we don’t believe that sustained prosperity can be met until issues like hunger are addressed.”


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