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New York Knicks and Actor Dennis Quaid Kick Off Thanksgiving for Five

(New York, NY) November 21, 2005 — To help combat hunger this holiday season, players from the New York Knicks -Jamal Crawford, Jerome James, Malik Rose, Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis, Jackie Butler — and "Yours, Mine and Ours" actor, Dennis Quaid, "team" with Food Bank For New York City President and CEO, Dr. Lucy Cabrera, to deliver and unload 100 turkeys plus fixings and serve a holiday dinner to 600 New Yorkers in need on Monday, November 21, beginning at 3:00 p.m. at FoodChange Soup Kitchen, 252 West 116th Street, in Harlem. The event is part of the Food Bank's Thanksgiving for Five" — a borough-wide campaign to distribute more than 10,500 free turkeys to community food programs including food pantries and soup kitchens serving New York's hungry this Thanksgiving season. In total, the Food Bank expects to provide 160,000 meals throughout the five boroughs.

This holiday season there are two million people in New York City at risk of going hungry, and half of those individuals are turning to emergency food assistance programs, including soup kitchens, food pantries, and shelters to avoid going hungry.

Of those people who are accessing emergency food assistance, most are women with children, the elderly and the working poor. Most of the turkeys are purchased in the spring at wholesale prices and stored in the Food Bank's 100,000 square foot warehouse in Hunts Point in the Bronx. In addition to turkeys, the Food Bank provides programs with holiday accompaniments including fresh produce such as apples, potatoes, and carrots.

As the major distributor of food to more than 1,200 community food programs throughout the five boroughs, the Food Bank helps provide the food for more than 250,000 meals served every day.

"This holiday season is a particularly challenging one for the Food Bank and our network of programs because of the recent natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, which left us down one million pounds in donated food product, compared to this time last year — accounting for more than 30 percent drop," said Food Bank President and CEO, Dr. Lucy Cabrera. "We are especially thankful to the NY Knicks, actor Dennis Quaid and his fellow young actors for assisting us today at FoodChange soup kitchen and helping us focusing attention on this widespread problem."

The Food Bank receives much of its shelf stable donated food items — approximately 80 percent — from the America's Second Harvest (ASH) network. In the aftermath of Katrina, the ASH network has distributed approximately 50 million pounds of food to the hurricane victims. The Food Bank For New York City was part of that relief effort. In part, as a result, Food Bank's shelf stable donated food from America's Second Harvest is down 34 per cent (1,000,000 pounds) compared to the same period last year.

More than one third of the Food Bank's fundraising takes place in October through December 31st. While we help provide the food for over a quarter million New Yorkers every day throughout the entire year, much of our funds enabling us to do what we do comes in around the fall and winter holidays.

If the Food Bank is unable to meet its fundraising goal, it could potentially result in cuts in food distribution and education services for its network of more than 1,200 community food programs. About 70 percent of the food that these programs receive is from the Food Bank. Meanwhile most of the resources that enable these food programs to build capacity and improve services for their communities emerge from our organization. Ninety-four cents of every dollar donated to the Food Bank goes toward food and program services, and the Food Bank is able to convert a dollar into five meals.

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