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Empire State Building Illuminated Orange in Honor of Food Bank For New York City's 20th Anniversary

New York, NY (March 25, 2003) The Empire State Building will be illuminated in orange — the national color of hunger — on April 2, in recognition of the Food Bank For New York City's 20 years of working to end hunger. To date, the Food Bank has distributed more than 450 million pounds of food to soup kitchens, food pantries and other emergency food programs in the five boroughs; an estimated 327 million meals for New York City's neediest.

Also on April 2, the Food Bank will hold its 20th Anniversary Gala Awards Dinner at Cipriani's 42nd Street. The evening will honor longtime Food Bank partners Morgan Stanley, Pathmark Stores Inc., Robin Hood Foundation and Yorkville Common Pantry. Sportscaster and business entrepreneur Roberto Clemente Jr. will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

"These are very uncertain times for everyone, particularly those who must struggle every day to get by and can't afford food for themselves and their families," said Dr. Lucy Cabrera, president and chief operating officer of the Food Bank For New York City. "The Food Bank continues to do everything within its power to get food to the city's needy. It's because of our 20-year history that I feel confident that we will overcome the difficulties of these uncertain times and help people get back on their feet."

Today an estimated one in five people in New York City turns to emergency food assistance to avoid going hungry. More than half of them are children and the elderly. Meanwhile, many of the Food Bank's 1,000 programs, including soup kitchens and food pantries, are experiencing a steady rise in demand for food assistance that surpasses levels seen immediately after 9/11. The Food Bank's research also shows that more and more working poor families are looking to emergency food assistance to make ends meet. Many of these families are forced to choose between paying rent and utilities and buying food for their families.

"The support we have received from corporations, foundations and caring individuals has sustained us through the past two decades," added Cabrera. "Their continued support, in the form of food donations, financial contributions and volunteering, will be the driving force as we reach our ultimate goal of a hunger-free city."


Anna Shenk

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