NY Giants Defensive Line Makes a 'Touch-Down' at the Food Bank For New York City's Community Kitchen of West Harlem to Deliver Turkeys and 'Tackle' Hunger
1 In 5 New Yorkers Relies On The Food Bank To Eat. 93% of Emergency Food Sites in NYC Are Experiencing An Increase In The Number Of Individuals Accessing Emergency Food For The First Time
New York, NY…November 17, 2009 — The New York Giants defensive line — Chris Canty, Justin Tuck, and Mathias Kiwanuka ‘touched down’ today at the Food Bank For New York City’s Community Kitchen of West Harlem, 252 West 116th Street, Manhattan, to face down one of their toughest opponents yet: hunger in New York City. The Giants unloaded a food delivery off the Food Bank’s 54 ft.-long tractor trailer containing 256 turkeys, 8,000 lbs. of produce and all the Thanksgiving fixings and then served dinner to 800+ New Yorkers in need.
The Food Bank’s Community Kitchen & Pantry of West Harlem serves approximately 1,000 meals daily. During the holiday season, the Food Bank will provide more than 12,000 free turkeys and chicken roasters through its emergency food network. Right now, 1.5 million New Yorkers rely on the Food Bank’s programs and services. As the long-term impact of the recession deepens and unemployment – now at a 26-year high of 10.3 percent – continues to escalate, the Food Bank is experiencing an unprecedented increase in the demand for services.
“The New York Giants are deeply concerned about the impact that the recession is having on our communities and most especially, its impact on our children, They have seen the Food Bank’s research that reveals that one child is five relies on the Food Bank to eat. Those numbers are astounding,” said Allison Stangeby, Director of Community Relations for the New York Giants. As in years past, the team is here to offer support with their time and talents. They hope that their presence here today at the Community Kitchen of West Harlem, will help shine a spotlight on the faces of hunger and the critical need to support the Food Bank.”
“We are very grateful to the New York Giants for their continuing support and for helping to bring much needed visibility to the pervasive issue of hunger in New York City, especially in these troubled times,” said Dr. Lucy Cabrera, President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City. “Over the past year, 90 percent of emergency food organizations in our city have seen more New Yorkers turning to them for help. People have lost jobs or had their pay or hours cut. The holiday season is an especially challenging time for our network. While we fear that things may get worse before they get better, we also know that with partners like the New York Giants, the Food Bank will be here to help.”
Today, one in five New Yorkers relies on the Food Bank For New York City to eat.
Among its network of 1,000 food assistance programs, 93% of food pantries and soup kitchens have seen an increase in the number of first-time visitors. Over half have seen demand grow by 25% or more. This increased demand for emergency food is happening at a time when public and private donations of food and funds are substantially reduced.
- Foundation giving—which accounts for 48 percent of the Food Bank’s private fundraising—is expected to decrease in the coming year as a result of the downturn in the stock market in 2008, and its impact on foundation endowments. In the first quarter of FY09, the Food Bank had already seen foundation giving drop by 12.5 percent.
As unemployment continues to rise, the face of food poverty in New York City is changing.
- 3.7 million New Yorkers report that they would not be able to afford food within three months of losing their income, according to the Food Bank’s research.
- Among The Food Bank’s network of 1,000 emergency food organizations, 87% of soup kitchens and food pantries report an increase number of recently unemployed visitors.
- The new face of hunger includes: the newly unemployed, the working poor, families with children, the elderly, and a generation aging into retirement, who lost savings in the economic collapse of 2008.
As the Food Bank struggles to meet the demand, soup kitchens and food pantries across the city have been forced to reduce services.
- Sites have reduced the amount of food distributed per person or household; turned individuals away for lack of food or resources; and reduced the number of days or hours of food distribution.
And because jobs are slow to return, the Food Bank expects these trends to continue through 2010. It is times like these that the Food Bank will continue to rely on programs that have successfully addressed food poverty throughout New York City. Their core strengths—food procurement, warehousing and a citywide distribution network will enable them to continue to bridge the gap between economic crisis and financial stability for struggling individuals and families in all five boroughs. The Food Bank’s Free Tax Preparation Assistance & Food Stamp Outreach programs are helping low-income families to secure financial stability and more permanent access to food by connecting them with much-needed public benefits.
Childhood hunger is a high priority for the Food Bank. One in five children relies on soup kitchens and food pantries. The Food Bank recognizes the acute and long-term impact of childhood hunger and helps provide approximately 100,000 meals to children each day. Their CookShop program, — the Food Bank’s nutrition education program for low-income children and families — reaches over 14,000 children in the public school system. CookShop training engages teachers to bring the program into their classrooms and teaches children about growing, eating and cooking with fresh, healthy food.
And just yesterday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Food Bank launched an NYC Service initiative – “Adopt a Food Program” – to match groups of volunteers with food pantries and soup kitchens throughout the five boroughs to increase the effectiveness of these critical organizations and the number of New Yorkers in need served this year.
About the Food Bank For New York City
Food Bank For New York City recognizes 26 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. Through its citywide network of approximately 1,000 food assistance programs, the Food Bank helps provide 300,000 free meals a day to New Yorkers in need. The Food Bank further mobilizes its efforts through direct services, food stamp access, research and policy initiatives, nutrition education and free tax assistance for low-income New Yorkers. Every dollar donated to the Food Bank helps provide five meals to New Yorkers in need. Learn how you can help at foodbanknyc.org.