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City's Largest Food Drive Effort Kicks Off to Help New Yorkers at Risk of Hunger


Food Bank For New York City Partners with Banks to Raise Food and Funds for 750,000 Meals

New York, NY October 31, 2006 A 270-foot-long truck convoy, packed with canned goods, rolled down Ninth Avenue today to make the first food delivery of the holiday season at Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen at 296 9th Avenue, in Manhattan. A study conducted by the Food Bank For New York City found that at least two million New Yorkers are at risk of going hungry. To help ensure that soup kitchens and food pantries are stocked for the holiday season, the city's banking industry has teamed up with the Food Bank for the NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership, a month-long, citywide food drive that will run through November. The partnership enables New Yorkers to make a different kind of deposit at their local bank branch — a deposit of canned food items for the city's hungry. The food drive is the city's largest, with a goal of raising food and funds to provide 750,000 meals for the city's needy.

Partner banks include Washington Mutual, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, HVB Group, Lehman Brothers, Ridgewood Savings Bank, and BNP Paribas. Media partners include amNewYork, Time Out New York, CW11, 1010 WINS and Hoy. Additional partners are Bloomberg, Goldstein Golub Kessler LLP and UPS. UPS has generously volunteered their services to pick up donated food at all bank branches throughout November and transport it to the Food Bank warehouse in Hunts Points where it will be sorted, repacked and distributed to the Food Bank's 1,200 community food programs throughout the five boroughs. For a list of participating bank branch locations, visit the Food Bank's website at www.foodbanknyc.org.

"An overwhelming number of families and individuals will turn to food pantries and soup kitchens to make ends meet during the holiday season and throughout the year," said Dr. Lucy Cabrera, President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City. "In the past six years, we have more than doubled the amount of food distributed to community based food programs and we are so grateful to the banking community and all of our private sector partners for their invaluable support in meeting this challenge."

According to the Food Bank's NYC Hunger Safety Net 2004: Measuring Gaps in Food Assistance, at least two million residents across the five boroughs are at risk of going hungry. The city's emergency food programs — approximately 1,200 soup kitchens and food pantries — are providing food to more than half of them but nearly a third of those at risk are not accessing any resources at all. The face of hunger has changed dramatically and most of the people in need of assistance are women with children, the elderly, the disabled and the working poor. In addition, one in five children depends on emergency food for assistance. In Staten Island, an area not traditionally associated with hunger or poverty, 52 percent of the population at-risk of going hungry is not accessing any services at all, the largest percentage of all five boroughs. In terms of actual people, the Bronx has the highest population of at risk residents not accessing services.

"Washington Mutual is proud to support the NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership food drive and its noble effort to ensure that soup kitchens like Holy Apostles are fully stocked for the holiday season," said John Benevento, senior vice president and group manager for Washington Mutual's retail network in New York. "Throughout this monthlong, citywide food drive, Washington Mutual will welcome deposits of nonperishable food items so we can help feed New Yorkers at risk of hunger. By joining forces with the Food Bank for New York City and championing social responsibility, sharing and community involvement, we can make a difference."

Food Bank For New York City, the city's major supplier of food for New Yorkers at risk of hunger, helps provide the food for more than 250,000 free meals served each day by more than 1,200 nonprofit community food programs in the five boroughs. Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 67 million pounds of food and was recognized as the 2004/05 Food Bank of the Year by America's Second Harvest, The Nation's Food Bank Network. For more information, visit our website at www.foodbanknyc.org.

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