In 1983, leaders of the city’s pioneering soup kitchens and food pantries gathered to create a solution to best meet their needs in serving their communities. The result was their founding of Food Bank. That Food Bank has since provided more than 1 Billion Meals FOR New York City.
Since the start of Food Bank For New York City 34 years ago, there has been an unshakable belief that hunger is solvable. In the beginning, community leaders reacted to the rising number of homeless men in our city and believed that the “food bank” solution would only be needed for 10 years. Since then, hunger has increased and morphed into a visitor plaguing women, children, veterans, seniors, the disabled and those working full and multiple part-time jobs. While the faces on the soup kitchen lines may change, our commitment to being a nimble, responsive leader and a collaborator with local community servant leaders has not.
Today, Food Bank delivers 120 nutritious meals every minute to a network of over 1,000 charities and schools. Together, we serve 1.5 million New Yorkers. Our food delivery work begins with the choices made by our charity members on behalf of their communities and ends with the strategic targeting of our city’s meal gap to ensure we adequately serve the most vulnerable. Every day, our tractor trailer trucks are filled to capacity with vital meals and fresh produce. Food Bank For New York City focuses on meals because we serve people.
Food Bank also provides more than meals because we know that comprehensive solutions to hunger and poverty require a multifaceted approach. Each program and service we offer seeks, as its ultimate goal, to increase the capacity required for community resilience and response. This goal is supported by our diverse team, which includes operations experts from the grocery and warehousing industries, logistical experts in transportation, as well as food sourcers, community outreach specialists, nutritionists, financial coaches, and researchers. Each talented staffer uses their skills and know-how to help New Yorkers understand and solve hunger in our city.
We do these things on purpose because of the strategic lens guiding our efforts. The formula at the center of our strategy is that by combining food, funds, and focus, we will reduce our city’s meal gap. Since introducing the Meal Gap to New York’s Hunger Community, it’s been adopted as the official measure of food insecurity, resulting in our strategic plan shifting the paradigm on how success is defined and participation is determined.
Food Bank For New York City’s mission isn’t about any city, but OUR city. We see poverty as being a stain REQUIRING collective and coordinated elbow grease to rid from our midst. Our city’s TRUE greatness depends on it. We work diligently to ensure that low-income New Yorkers have enough to eat and the services necessary to live in dignity. By taking a bold strategic approach that puts more focus on the communities of highest need throughout the five boroughs, Food Bank is increasing resources in those areas and helping to build the capacity of charities serving residents there.
We don’t accomplish this work alone. Every New Yorker has a role to play. When we share the commitment to end hunger in our city and change the experience for millions of our neighbors struggling to survive, we can spread solutions that move communities and families towards solutions.
Margarette Purvis, President/CEO
Food Bank For New York City
Board of Directors
Rev. Henry A. Belin, Chair Bethel AME Church
Gloria Pitagorsky, Vice Chair Heard City
Lary Stromfeld, Exec. Vice Chair Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Arthur Stainman, Treasurer First Manhattan
John F. Fritts, Esq., Secretary Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Mario Batali, Chef/Author
Kevin Frisz, Managing Partner William James Capital
Lauren Bush Lauren, Founder FEED
Katie Lee, Chef/Author The Comfort Table
Seraina Macia, Executive Vice President & CEO AIG
Nicolas Poitevin, Senior Trader Latour Trading
Lee Schrager, Vice President Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
Michael Smith, Gen. Manager Cooking Channel
Stanley Tucci, Actor/Director Olive Productions
Rev. Michael Walrond, Pastor First Corinthian Baptist Church
Agency Advisory Committee