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Top Corporations Lend a Hand at Food Bank For New York City

New York, NY (December 17, 2002) — Despite a struggling economy and a looming transit strike, generous corporations are giving employees the opportunity to spend a day volunteering at the Food Bank For New York City this holiday season. Throughout December, the Food Bank's repack room will be packed with 57 tons of food and more than 500 corporate volunteers lending a hand to help New Yorkers in need. Taking the lead in the Food Bank's inaugural Volunteer-A-Thon are Bloomberg LP, Citigroup, FleetBoston Financial, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank, Mercedes-Benz, Rapp Collins and J. Walter Thompson.

"Throughout the holiday season, the Food Bank has collected more than 57 tons of food through 25 citywide food drives, including the NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership with the city's leading financial institutions," said Dr. Lucy Cabrera, president and chief executive officer of Food Bank For New York City. "At a time when demand for emergency food assistance is on the rise, this food — once repacked by volunteers and distributed to food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters - will feed 92,000 needy New Yorkers. These 1500 volunteer hours will also save the Food Bank enough money to feed an additional 58,000 people for a grand total of 150,000 meals for needy New Yorkers this holiday season."

Today, one in five New Yorkers are turning to emergency food assistance to avoid going hungry. More than half of them are children and the elderly. The Food Bank's post-9/11 survey shows that over 80 percent of the city's soup kitchens and food pantries are experiencing a steady rise in demand for food assistance that surpasses levels seen immediately after 9/11. In fact, 1 in 5 food pantries and 1 in 6 soup kitchens are more likely to turn away people seeking food assistance because they've simply run out of food.

Food drives are only one way that the Food Bank For New York City is working to feed the 1.5 million New Yorkers who are turning to emergency food programs. The Food Bank also solicits, collects, purchases and stores more than 61 million pounds of food each year from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and government agencies and distributes it to more than 1,000 nonprofit community food programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Food Bank For New York City is the largest food bank in the country.

Anna Shenk

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