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BANK ON IT: Food Bank For New York City's Blog


Happy Purim!

Purim this year is Sunday, February 28. In the Bible, The Book of Esther tells a fantastical story about a Jewish girl whose grace won the beauty contest to be the new queen. Her charm also helped save the Jewish people throughout the Persian Empire from an evil minister named Haman (Boooo!!!).

Queen Esther and her cousin Mordechai then deliver the message that the only way to really be happy is if everyone in society is happy. This was true when a minority in the kingdom was being oppressed; it is also true when there is hunger in the community.

They declared that the holiday is celebrated by 1) giving charity to two people (enough money to buy a nice meal), 2) giving a food basket to a friend, 3) having a festive meal and 4) retelling the story. So please use the SHARE button below to Digg, tweet or use any social media to share this post, have a Happy Purim and please donate here.

Kate Hindin, This Is Your Life

by Daniel Buckley

If you read this blog regularly, you already know who Kate Hindin is. But for those of you who don’t: After working as the Food Bank For New York City’s Business Partnerships Manager for the past year and a half — over which time she was an active contributor to Bank on It — Kate Hindin has moved back home to California.

Kate’s dedication to building partnerships that have helped to fight hunger in New York City has come through clearly in her blog posts. So, illustrating the importance of these partnerships and giving examples of some of the ways that you or the place where you work can help make a difference, here is a selection of her posts — and, Kate Hindin, this is your life:

Sweet Charity – parts 1 & 2

A two-part interview with one of the Food Bank’s favorite bakeries: Ivy Bakery in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

An Alternative Spring Break

From among an onslaught of teens, tweens and families visiting New York City over spring break, a group of high school students from Erie, PA use their time off to help New Yorkers in need at our Community Kitchen

Bring on the Bake Sales

A Food Bank partner holds a bake-sale contest to benefit the Food Bank — and invites Kate Hindin to sample the entries as a judge.

Nathan’s Famous on the Fourth of July

The world’s most well-known competitive eating contest — featuring The Frankster, a dancing Uncle Sam and a lot of hot dogs — benefits the Food Bank.

 

In a Tizzy Over Taxes

by Ashley Goforth


Congressman Charles Rangel shows his support for strong student leadership as he chats with students trained as tax preparers from Frederick Douglass Academy and Rice High School.


Our free tax services can constitute a significant step from food poverty toward self-sufficiency.


Food Bank Board Chair Rev. Henry Belin hosted our special guest speakers at the kickoff event and emphasized the importance of community support for the program.

For the Food Bank, February means tax assistance is in high gear and heading full speed into the April 15 tax deadline. At the start of the month, the Community Kitchen & Food Pantry of West Harlem hosted a press conference to kick of the tax season and to remind New York City residents that many of them may be eligible for free tax-return preparation and electronic filing at 14 sites citywide operated by the Food Bank’s Tax Assistance Program and online through the IRS and New York State Free File Alliance programs. On hand to discuss the merits of the program was Congressman Charles Rangel; IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman; NYC Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz; and Human Resources Administration Commissioner Robert Doar; Ed Black, President and CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA); and Brad Smith, President and CEO of Intuit Inc.

Then, on February 18, the Food Bank, Capital One Bank and the Brooklyn Community Foundation joined forces to bring attention to the program at the Fulton Street Capital One, where our program provides tax assistance for the northern Brooklyn community. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz joined Fran Freedman, LMSW, Deputy Commissioner, External Affairs  NYC Department of Consumer Affairs; our Vice President of Agency Resources & Benefit Access Carlos Rodriguez and Capital One’s Brooklyn Market President B.J. Duffy to extol the benefits of free tax assistance.

The Food Bank’s Tax Assistance Program provides low-income New Yorkers with free tax preparation services as well as information on how to access the various credits they are entitled to – including the Earned Income Tax Credit , a key piece of the public safety net for the working poor. One of the largest programs of its type in the country, the Food Bank's Tax Assistance Program has completed up to 50,000 tax returns for low- to moderate-income New Yorkers annually — helping to provide as much as $100 million in tax refunds.

If you think you may be eligible for EITC, use Intuit’s free EITC calculator today. For a listing of the Food Bank’s Tax Assistance Program sites, click here.

2009 in Video & Photo

by Daniel Buckley

With the mounting effects of the recession — including record-high unemployment rates — 2009 presented many challenges to the Food Bank For New York City. As the city's major hunger-relief organization, the Food Bank was there to help the 1 in 5 New Yorkers who rely on us to eat. 

Check back later this week for a Letter from Lucy (Lucy Cabrera, Food Bank President and CEO, that is) recapping the past year and giving a glimpse into the year to come. Right now, please take a moment to view, learn from and enjoy highlights of the videos and photo slideshows that display some of the Food Bank's efforts and events of the past year.

VIDEO

Generations of Hunger

Watch our 2009 video, offering an insider's perspective from the front lines of hunger relief.
Can-Do Awards Dinner

Watch Jon Bon Jovi at our 2009 gala. Visit our YouTube channel for more videos from Can-Do, including a live performance from Joseph Arthur and Mike Mills.

 

CookShop
Watch our 2009 CookShop video to witness our nutrition and health education efforts.
If I Close My Eyes
Watch the Food Bank's latest public service announcement featuring Mario Batali, Stanley Tucci, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Stipe and more.

Visit the Food Bank's YouTube channel for more videos from 2009, including videos featuring Food Bank President and CEO Lucy Cabrera, Food Bank Board Chair Rev. Henry Belin, board members Mario Batali and Stanley Tucci and other supporters including Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Stipe.


PHOTO

The below photo slideshows were posted right here on Bank on It over the past year.
 

Thanksgiving Distribution

The Giants serve turkey at the Food Bank's Community Kitchen, from "Talking Turkey with Giants and Jets" by Ashley Goforth, Nov. 26, 2009


Chef One Dumpling Festival

 

Dumpling Man, giant dumplings, an eating contest and city Comptroller John Liu —all for hunger relief in "Dumpling for a Cause" by Daniel Buckley, Oct 29, 2009.

 

 Taste of Tennis

Tennis's biggest stars including Andy Roddick and Vera Zvonareva; NYC's hottest restaurants including The Stanton Social and Double Crown; and Bethenny Frankel support the Food Bank at BNP Paribas' Taste of Tennis in "A Taste of Tennis" by Kate Hindin, Sept. 3, 2009

 

 Fourth of July in Coney Island

In addition to being the most famous competetive eating contest in the world, the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest helps New Yorkers in need through its support for the Food Bank (and for those of you who get our e-newsletters, The Frankster's here!), in "Nathan's Famous on the Fourth of July" by Kate Hindin, July 13, 2009

For more photo slideshows, scroll through past postings on Bank on It...

Our New Year's Resolutions

by Daniel Buckley

It’s that time of year again, when we use the passing of another year to wipe the slate clean, consider how to add meaning to our lives or reflect on what our lives are missing and make resolutions for the future.

As the major hunger-relief organization addressing food poverty within the five boroughs, the Food Bank For New York City promotes healthy eating and fitness — staple New Year’s resolutions — and asks our supporters to do what they can to make a difference throughout the year.

Here is a selection of resolutions from our staff. We hope that our work inspires you throughout the year to take actions that will make a difference in your life and the lives of New Yorkers in need — and maybe our personal resolutions can add that extra a bit of inspiration to help make your New Year’s resolutions a reality.

Triada Stampas, Director of Government Relations & Public Education
“I resolve to eat more vegetables!”

Heather Joseph, MS, Volunteer Services Manager
“I plan to run a half-marathon — so that includes changing my diet, returning to the gym and starting to run outdoors. I also will be returning to Bikram Yoga.”

Roxanne Henry, Community Outreach Manager
“This year, I hope to begin a new chapter in my life, so I do not see it as a New Year’s resolution, but I resolve to be more present and conscientious in all that I do: in eating well, in being good to my body, when speaking to people, in my work, etc. I claim this aspiration with all honesty and sincerity!”

Ashley Goforth, Communications & Marketing Assistant
“My New Year’s resolution is to get my roomies to donate to the Food Bank member food pantry that is across the street from our apartment. They just found out there was a pantry there a few weeks ago.”

Claire Elyse LaRoche, Business Partnerships Assistant
“I intend to spend more time biking around Brooklyn in 2010.”

Catharine Bufalino, Director of Communications & Marketing
“My resolution is to cook for every person I love in the coming year. Geography allowing — I’ll aim to give them the healthiest, most delicious meal I can conjure. Wish me luck!”

John Leggio, CookShop for Adults Associate
“I resolve to spend more time jogging with my dog Ovie.”

Caitlin Buckley, Communications Manager
“As a vegetarian but not a vegan, I resolve to consider animal welfare when shopping for eggs and dairy products.”

Kim Keller, Director of Member Services
“My New Year’s resolution is to go to the gym on a consistent basis. I usually maintain a good three-day-a-week workout schedule for about three months, then fall off the wagon for about three months, then get back on. This year I want to maintain my schedule at two days a week — every week.”

Daniel Buckley, Online Communications Manager
“I resolve to eat less meat and more vegetables, and be more conscious of farming practices for the meat that I buy.”

Christina Riley, MS, RD, Community Nutritionist
“I joined a gym so I can start training for a relay marathon in the spring and attend yoga classes on a regular basis to improve my fitness and encourage a little more relaxation in my life.”

Kate Hindin, Business Partnerships Manager
“My resolution is to be more carefree and fearless. Stop worrying, start living!”

Leaving on an Orange Note

by Kate Hindin

I can’t think of a better way to end my time at the Food Bank For New York City (I will be moving back to California at the beginning of February) then with the success of our NYC Goes Orange campaign. Turning New York orange is no easy feat, and over the past year and a half I have been able to help light the city orange twice — raising more than six million meals for New Yorkers in need!

The Empire State Building lit orange for NYC Goes Orange 2005—2009

The success of this annual food, fund and awareness raising campaign rests entirely on the enthusiasm of New Yorkers – young and old, from Staten Island to the Bronx – who come together with their families, friends and businesses to help our hungry neighbors. A campaign that began as a single week now lasts the entire holiday season.

This campaign would not have been possible without the generous support from our more than 300 partner organizations, including Barclays, FedEx, Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Vanguard Direct, Disney, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Goldman Sachs. The campaign is also made possible by the dozens of fundraising events and offerings that took place across the city — from Z100’s Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden to the delicious “Go Orange” cupcakes and cookies at Bay Ridge’s Ivy Bakery — along with the more than 300 virtual and traditional food drives, which alone raised more than 250,000 meals for hungry New Yorkers!

I would like to personally thank everyone who participated in the campaign and helped make it our most successful to date! Whether you partnered with the Food Bank, volunteered at an event, donated or helped spread the word — you helped make a real difference for New Yorkers in need.

Though I may no longer have the opportunity to light New York City orange, my time here has been transformed by the color — and I will never forget the experiences and opportunities I have had at the Food Bank!

To browse our NYC Goes Orange–related blog posts, click on the title of this post and scroll to the bottom of the page.

A Food Bank Christmas

Merry Christmas from the Food Bank For New York City! As you exchange gifts tomorrow morning, please remember the New Yorkers in need who are having a happy Christmas thanks to your support.

Food Bank IT Associate Louie “Santa” Lacarbonara with some of the nutritious food collected during our supporters’ holiday food drives

Leaving on an Orange Note

By Kate Hindin

I can’t think of a better way to end my time at the Food Bank For New York City – I will be moving back to California at the beginning of February – than with the success of our NYC Goes Orange campaign. Turning New York Orange is no easy feat, and over the past year and a half I have been able to help light the city Orange twice – raising more than six million meals for New Yorkers in need!

The success of this annual food, fund and awareness raising campaign rests entirely on the enthusiasm of New Yorkers – young and old, from Staten Island to the Bronx – who come together with their families, friends and businesses to help our hungry neighbors. A campaign that began as a single week now lasts the entire holiday season and incorporates more than 300 partner organizations. This campaign would not have been possible without the generous support from our sponsors: Barclays, FedEx, Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, Vanguard Direct, Disney, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, and Goldman Sachs. The campaign is also made possible by the dozens of fundraising events that took place across the city– from Z100’s Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden to the delicious “Go Orange” cupcakes and cookies at Bay Ridge’s Ivy Bakery – along with the more than 300 virtual and traditional food drives, which alone raised over 250,000 meals for hungry New Yorkers!

I would like to personally thank everyone who participated in the campaign and helped make it our most successful to date! Whether you partnered with the Food Bank, volunteered at an event, donated or helped spread the word – you helped make a real difference for New Yorkers in need.

Though I may no longer have the opportunity to light New York City orange, my time here has been transformed by the color – and I will never forget the experiences and opportunities I have had at the Food Bank!

One Week Left...

by Daniel Buckley

…to Shop with Purpose for Christmas!
Download the Food Bank For New York City’s new We-Care Reminder, and when you shop online at any of the 800+ participating vendors — including Verizon, Amazon and the Disney Store – a percentage of your purchase will benefit the Food Bank. It takes 1 minute to download the plug-in and costs you $0 — do it today!

…to get the perfect stocking stuffers!
Pick up some Jacques Torres Bean to Bar chocolate bars and give your little ones something sweet that helps New Yorkers in need.

…OR LESS to order your holiday sweets!
Do you really have time for baking at this point? Order Ivy Bakery’s “Go Orange” cookies and cupcakes, save yourself some time and benefit the Food Bank.

…for that big holiday dinner shopping trip!
Look for our Check-Out Hunger display at the check out (where else?) of your local A&P, Fairway, Food Emporium, Foodtown, King Kullen, Pathmark, ShopRite or Waldbaum’s. Pick up a $1, $3 or $5 donation “coupon” and a gift in that amount will be automatically made to the Food Bank. Remember, ever $1 helps to provide 5 meals for our neighbors in need.

...to honor someone you care about!
Make a tribute gift in honor of a family member or friend and help provide meals for New Yorkers in need in their name.

…to get that unique gift!
Send a loved one to Good Commons's Winter Food & Wine Expedition in Vermont to enjoy winter activities, a private chef and all the warmth and comfort Good Commons provides!

It’s not really a full week — just wanted to make sure all you procrastinators realize….And, while it’s actually less than a week until Christmas, you have just a week and a half to make your tax-deductible, year-end donations! From all of us at the Food Bank For New York City, have a great Christmas, and good luck getting through the week!

One Week Left…

 By Daniel Buckley

…to Shop with Purpose for Christmas!
Download the Food Bank For New York City’s new We-Care Reminder, and when you shop online at any of the 800+ participating vendors – including Verizon, Amazon and the Disney Store – a percentage of your purchase will benefit the Food Bank. It takes 1 minute to download the plug-in and costs you $0 – do it today!

…to get the perfect stocking stuffers!
Pick up some Jacques Torres Bean to Bar chocolate bars and give your little ones something sweet that helps New Yorkers in need.

…OR LESS to order your holiday sweets!
Do you really have time for baking at this point? Order Ivy Bakery’s “Go Orange” cookies and cupcakes, save yourself some time and benefit the Food Bank.

…for that big holiday dinner shopping trip!
Look for our Check-Out Hunger display at the check out (where else?) of your local A&P, Fairway, Food Emporium, Foodtown, King Kullen, Pathmark, ShopRite or Waldbaum’s. Pick up a $1, $3 or $5 donation “coupon” and a gift in that amount will be automatically made to the Food Bank. Remember, ever $1 helps to provide 5 meals for our neighbors in need.

…to get that unique gift!
Send a loved one to Good Commons’s Winter Food & Wine Expedition in Vermont to enjoy winter activities, a private chef and all the warmth and comfort Good Commons provides!

It’s not really a full week — just wanted to make sure all you procrastinators realize….And, while it’s actually less than a week until Christmas, you have just a week and a half to make your tax-deductible, year-end donations! From all of us at the Food Bank For New York City, have a great Christmas, and good luck getting through the week!

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