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Fund for NYC Hunger Relief Receives $1 Million Grant from the Starr International Foundation to Provide Food and Assistance in NYC Area


NEW YORK, NY, (June 5, 2009) — The Fund for New York City Hunger Relief today announced that it will receive a $1 million grant from the Starr International Foundation, in response to a significant increase in the number of people seeking help feeding their families at food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the city. The need for emergency food has increased 30 percent nationally in the past year, according to Feeding America, the nation's largest, domestic hunger-relief organization.

The Fund for New York City Hunger Relief is a collaboration among Feeding America, Food Bank For New York City and City Harvest. Since its establishment six years ago, the Fund has provided support to more than 200 soup kitchens, food pantries and other charitable food providers in the five boroughs of New York, through grants aimed at building the infrastructure and capacity of emergency feeding programs. The Fund for New York City Hunger Relief has helped to build a stronger and more secure system to fight hunger on its front lines.

The Starr International Foundation grant will be used to extend the project into its seventh year. The funds will be dedicated primarily to providing more food to New Yorkers affected by the ongoing recession. This continued investment will help to ensure that emergency food programs remain a resource for hungry individuals and families in New York City, increasing the ability of these agencies to meet the rising demand for food.

Research conducted by the Food Bank For New York City shows that in the midst of job losses, rising costs and the credit crunch resulting from the economic crisis, half of all New York City residents are having difficulty affording food. In addition, 2.1 million New Yorkers who have never accessed food assistance before (soup kitchens, food pantries and/or food stamps) are concerned that they may need to access services by year's end. In a recent survey of a representative group of partner agencies conducted by City Harvest, many agencies reported that they are serving new people and that households are accessing emergency food far more frequently than before the current economic downturn.

In response, the Food Bank and City Harvest are increasing their efforts by exceeding their distribution goals for the current year. The Food Bank will distribute 12 percent more food than projected and City Harvest will increase its rescue and distribution efforts by 13 percent. This year, the Food Bank will provide 58 million pounds of food and City Harvest will distribute 26 million pounds. More than 1,200 soup kitchens, food pantries and other charitable food providers will receive this food and provide it directly to people in need.

"The same economic conditions that increase demand at soup kitchens and food pantries can limit their ability to raise the food and funds necessary to feed people," said Jilly Stephens, executive director of City Harvest. "We are grateful that visionary funders such as Starr International Foundation are stepping up to help City Harvest, Food Bank For New York City and Feeding America support agencies in New York City in meeting basic needs."

"We are enormously grateful to Starr International Foundation for their support and for helping to bring much needed attention to the pervasive issue of hunger in New York City," said Dr. Lucy Cabrera, President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City. "Never in the history of our organizations have we seen so many New Yorkers struggling to put food on the table. This grant is making it possible for us to continue to help those who depend on us every day."


About Feeding America:
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks operate 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms.

About the Food Bank For New York City:
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 26 years as the city's major provider of food to New Yorkers in need. The organization works to end food poverty and increase access to affordable, nutritious food for low-income New Yorkers through a range of programs and services that focus on food sourcing and distribution, education and nutrition, financial empowerment, disaster relief and policy and research.

Food Bank For New York City sources and distributes food to more than 1,000 food assistance programs, assisting the approximately 1.3 million New Yorkers who access emergency food. The Food Bank provides food safety, networking and capacity-building workshops; manages nutrition-education programs for schools, after-school and emergency food programs; operates food stamp outreach and education programs; operates senior programs, a soup kitchen and food pantry; coordinates the largest civilian Tax Assistance Program in the country; and develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts to end food poverty throughout New York City.

About City Harvest:
Now serving New York City for over 25 years, City Harvest is the world's first food rescue organization, dedicated to feeding the city's hungry men, women and children. This year, City Harvest will collect 26 million pounds of excess food from all segments of the food industry, including restaurants, grocers, corporate cafeterias, manufacturers and farms. This food is then delivered free of charge to more than 600 community food programs throughout New York City using a fleet of trucks and bikes as well as volunteers on foot. Each week, City Harvest helps over 260,000 hungry New Yorkers find their next meal. Visit www.cityharvest.org.

About The Starr International Foundation:
The Starr International Foundation, a charitable organization based in Switzerland, is dedicated to supporting a broad range of educational, environmental, artistic, cultural, medical, humanitarian and other charitable institutions in Switzerland and around the world. The Foundation is the sole common stockholder of Starr International Company, Inc. ("Starr International").

The Foundation's Board of Directors consists of Otto Saxer (President), former chief executive officer of Swiss Mobiliar; John C. Whitehead, former co-chairman of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and U.S. Deputy Secretary of State; Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, chairman of Starr International and the retired chairman and CEO of American International Group, Inc.; Jeffrey Greenberg, chairman of Aquiline Holdings; Florence Davis, president of The Starr Foundation; and Edward E. Matthews, director and vice-chairman of Starr International and the retired vice chairman of American International Group, Inc.

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