IT'S HUNGER ACTION MONTH!
More New Yorkers than ever are facing hunger in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But hunger CAN be defeated if ALL New Yorkers work together. That’s why every September is Hunger Action Month.
That's when Food Bank NYC partners with brands, advocates, and New Yorkers to help raise funds and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The theme this year is “I Am FOR NYC”, a call to action for ALL New Yorkers to embrace their role as friend and supporter in this fight. Food Bank has partnered with Seamless® in providing 250,000 meals to our neighbors in need. Ready to make YOUR impact? Find how your can help.
Are you a New Yorker in need of food for yourself or your family? Find your nearest emergency food provider, including our series of pop-up food distributions for Hunger Action Month, here.
Here are a few facts:
- An estimated 1.4 million New York City residents rely on emergency food programs, including soup kitchens and food pantries, each year.
- Approximately 339,000 New York City children, or approximately one out of every five (19 percent), rely on soup kitchens and food pantries.
- Approximately 604,770 New York City adult women, or approximately one out of every six (17 percent), rely on soup kitchens and food pantries.
- Approximately 204,000 New York City seniors, or approximately one out of every five (20 percent), rely on soup kitchens and food pantries.
- Approximately 70,000 New York City veterans, or approximately three out of every ten (30 percent), rely on soup kitchens and food pantries.
WAYS TO TAKE ACTION THIS MONTH
Throughout September, City Harvest will Join Feeding America to Raise Awareness of the Deepening Food Insecurity Crisis in NYC
There are many ways to help. For instance, all public school families received a one-time payment of $420 this summer, delivered via "P-EBT" cards, to compensate them for the school meals not received by their children.
Hunger advocates across the city are asking families who did not need these payments to direct them toward hungry New Yorkers during this very difficult time. While you cannot pass your P-EBT card on to another family, or a food pantry or soup kitchen, you can use your card to help New Yorkers who are hungry. A
1.) Use your P-EBT card to purchase foods:
Donate groceries to Food Banks or Soup Kitchens.
2.) Donate funds (such as the value of your P-EBT card) to an food pantry or soup kitchen.
This list is not exhaustive. Click here to find food pantries and kitchens across our area.
3.) Donate funds equivalent to the value of your P-EBT card to local food pantries via Share My P-EBT.
NYC’s New Normal: Increased Need Combined with Weakened but Recovering Emergency Food Network
Food Bank For New York City today released data on the state of food insecurity in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Food Bank and its network of more than 800 soup kitchens and food pantries are facing several unique challenges.
With the necessary economic shutdown putting many people out of work and rapidly increasing the need for assistance, the demand on the emergency food network has surged. Food Bank has distributed nearly 21 million meals across the city since the start of the outbreak, an increase of 20 percent in overall food distribution compared to the same period last year. See below for more key findings and a list of hot spot neighborhoods for food insecurity.
“This virus represents an extreme and unprecedented hardship across our entire city but especially for our financially and medically vulnerable neighbors, and it is absolutely critical that we rise to the challenge for them,” said Food Bank For New York City President and CEO Leslie Gordon. “This is the new normal for New York City, and Food Bank is doing everything possible to meet the need that exists today and the need that will continue to exist in the coming weeks, months, and years. Our warehouse is open, our trucks are on the road, and our staff are out in communities every day bringing food to those who need it most, and with the help of our partners in government and throughout the city, we will continue to pursue every opportunity available to support low-income New Yorkers as we all take on this pandemic together.”
Among the report’s key findings:
- 75% of food pantries and soup kitchens surveyed reported serving more New Yorkers in April 2020 than in the months leading up to COVID-19, with nearly one-third (31%) reporting their number of visitors more than doubling.
- Of the pantries and kitchens reporting an increase in visitors, 91% reported an increase in first-time visitors, 79% reported an increase in families with children, 71% reported an increase in laid-off or furloughed workers, and 59% reported an increase in undocumented immigrants.
- With their resources drained, more than half of food pantries and soup kitchens surveyed reported running out of food during April, and 70% reported serving people who had traveled from another borough.
- At the outbreak’s peak, roughly 40% of the city’s soup kitchens and food pantries were closed, largely because they are run by seniors who are at high risk during the health crisis. Making matters worse, 73% of these closed agencies are concentrated in high-need areas.
- The proportion of closed soup kitchens and food pantries the highest-need communities is even greater when looking at the borough level:
- The Bronx: 50% of food pantries and soup kitchens closed; 90% of those are in the highest-need communities;
- Brooklyn: 36% of food pantries and soup kitchens closed; 85% of those are in the highest-need communities;
- Queens: 38% of food pantries and soup kitchens closed; 54% of those are in the highest-need communities;
- Manhattan: 32% of food pantries and soup kitchens closed; 59% of those are in the highest-need communities;
- Staten Island: 28% of food pantries and soup kitchens closed.
Facing growing food insecurity, a weakened emergency food network and a simultaneous need to reimagine how to distribute resources, Food Bank has engaged a group of Community Response Partners in each borough to serve as food hubs and make up for agency closures in high-need communities. Food Bank is fast-tracking deliveries of food and other essentials to these hubs and collaborating with them to deploy new distribution methods like home delivery, drive-through pick-up pantry bags and special senior distribution hours.
See the full report here.
HELLOFRESH IS HELPING
Governor Cuomo Announces New York State to Extend Partnership with HelloFresh to Combat Food Insecurity Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the New York State Division of Veterans' Services will extend a partnership with HelloFresh, the world's leading meal kit delivery company, to combat food insecurity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. HelloFresh will provide over 200,000 fresh meals to veterans, military families and other residents in New York City who are experiencing food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The program builds on the successful Nourish New York initiative, a multi-agency effort to reduce food insecurity and support food producers during this unprecedented time.
HelloFresh and the New York State Division of Veterans' Services kicked off an initial pilot program in June, providing over 65,000 meals to date to families in New York City.
"The pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity across New York and across this nation and it's the most vulnerable among us that bear the brunt," Governor Cuomo said. "I am proud to see great New York companies taking a stand to help ensure that no family goes hungry and on behalf of New Yorkers - thank you to HelloFresh for its dedication and efforts on this critical mission."
Each week, volunteers with Black Veterans for Social Justice and The Campaign Against Hunger pack and assemble HelloFresh meal kits consisting of fresh, high-quality ingredients, recipe cards and a bag of fruit - free of charge - to veterans, service members and their families, and other New Yorkers adversely impacted by COVID-19. The meal kits are packed at TCAH's Brooklyn headquarters and distributed, with the help of the NYC Department of Veteran's Affairs, to individuals in New York City who are currently struggling to put healthy, nourishing food on their tables.
Following the success of the initial pilot program, HelloFresh and the State of New York will be extending the program in Brooklyn, providing an additional 150,000 meals to veterans and food insecure families over the next four months.
Food insecurity is high among veterans, service members and their families. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs reports that veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are twice as likely to be food insecure compared with the general population, and a 2018 study showed that 1.5 million veterans in the United States lived in a household that relied completely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to supplement their food intake. In New York State alone, according to the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities, 59,000 veterans rely on SNAP benefits to feed themselves and their families — a number that only worsened due to the adverse impacts of COVID-19.
City Harvest, New York City's first and largest food rescue organization, has announced its participation in Hunger Action Month: Feeding America's annual campaign to raise awareness of food insecurity across the country and mobilize the public to take action to feed those in need. With the rate of food insecurity expected to surge nearly 40% among all New Yorkers and nearly 50% among New York City children due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis, City Harvest's work of rescuing and delivering food, free of charge, for those in need is more important and urgent than ever.
All New Yorkers can support City Harvest during Hunger Action Month by visiting cityharvest.org/hungeractionmonth and:
- Donating Funds: To help deliver as much food to as many of our neighbors as possible, two generous friends of City Harvest are matching all gifts, dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000, during the month of September. Each dollar donated will help feed five New Yorkers in need for a day.
- Donating Food: (City Harvest's High Holidays Food Drive, Sept 8–Oct 9): Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people served through our kosher agencies has nearly doubled, compared to the same time last year. Help City Harvest feed our kosher-observing neighbors in need during the High Holidays by running a traditional or online food drive. Our trucks will pick up donations of 50 pounds or more in-person, or you can build an online food drive page through our partner #GiveHealthy and purchase items online to be delivered directly to the City Harvest warehouse. All donated food will be delivered to kosher community food programs across the city.
- Joining City Harvest's Running Club: Join the Team City Harvest Running Club to raise awareness and funds for City Harvest. Club members can participate in virtual 5k and 10k runs throughout the month, and have access to virtual Wellness Wednesday events, such as healthy cooking demonstrations.
- Volunteering: City Harvest was founded by a group of volunteers in 1982, and today, nearly 10,000 volunteers donate their time each year. Throughout the month of September, individuals are encouraged to take a hands-on approach to feeding their neighbors by volunteering.
- Advocating: Join with City Harvest and Feeding America to urge Congress to pass a comprehensive COVID-19 recovery bill that helps the growing number of New Yorkers and people across the country who are experiencing food insecurity because of the economic crisis resulting from COVID-19.