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The American Red Cross in Greater New York and the Food Bank For New York City Join Forces to Strengthen New York City Disaster Relief

New York, December 2, 2009 – The American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY) and  Food Bank For New York City today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) designed to formalize and strengthen their relationship.  This agreement provides a framework for cooperation between the two organizations for food, water, personnel, equipment and/or information in support of disaster relief operations.

“The American Red Cross in Greater New York is pleased to expand our mutually beneficial relationship with Food Bank For New York City. This partnership enhances the ability of both organizations to better service the community relative to disaster preparedness and the coordination of disaster planning and response activities,” said American Red Cross in Greater New York CEO Terry Bischoff. “The collaboration increases our efficiency to help New Yorkers when they need it most.”

The MOU focuses on three key areas of disaster preparedness and response––planning and operations, training and educational opportunities and public affairs.

Planning and Operations
Both organizations have agreed to collaborate in the acquisition and distribution of food and non-food supplies needed for a disaster response operation.  Red Cross-trained kitchen staff will be allowed to utilize the kitchen space at the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen and Food Pantry of West Harlem for food preparation during a localized disaster. At the close of an operation, remaining food products will be offered to the Food Bank or the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen and Pantry of West Harlem.

Training and Educational Opportunities
The Red Cross and Food Bank will establish cross-training opportunities for employees and volunteers of both organizations, with ARC/GNY providing disaster-related training and Food Bank providing training in warehousing and other logistical activities as well as training at its community kitchen.

Public Affairs
Both organizations will collaborate to keep the public informed of their cooperative efforts during a disaster relief operation.

“By working in close partnership with the Red Cross during a disaster response, our cooperative efforts will help to ensure that the basic needs of those in need during a disaster will immediately be met,” said Dr. Lucy Cabrera, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York. “We will continue to actively seek other areas within our organization where cooperation and support will make a difference in the community.”

The organizations will also work together to foster a better understanding, when necessary, of appropriate food drives and other disaster response activities.

About The American Red Cross in Greater New York

The American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY) is a key humanitarian partner and a vital participant in New York’s plans and programs to help over nine million people in New York City and Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Sullivan counties prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. The Chapter responds to an average of 8 emergencies a day—fires, floods, building collapses—and provides immediate humanitarian aid to as many as 100,000 people affected by these emergencies each year. Additionally, the Chapter helps New York residents and businesses prepare for emergencies by offering hundreds of lifesaving courses and emergency preparedness training programs and resources.

The American Red Cross in Greater New York is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, not a government agency, and relies on donations to fund its free humanitarian services. For more information about how you can help, call 1-877-RED CROSS (1-877-733-2767), or visit

About the Food Bank For New York City

Food Bank For New York City recognizes 26 years as the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. Food Bank works to increase access to affordable, nutritious food for low-income New Yorkers through a range of programs and services that focus on food sourcing and distribution, education and nutrition, financial empowerment, disaster relief and policy and research.

Food Bank For New York City sources and distributes food to a network of approximately 1,000 food assistance programs citywide, helping to provide 300,000 free meals a day to New Yorkers in need. Food Bank strengthens the impact of our network through food safety and capacity-building workshops; offers a hands-on nutrition education program to New York City public schools, reaching over 14,000 children, teens and adults; conducts food stamp prescreening and outreach; operates a soup kitchen and food pantry; coordinates the largest civilian Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program in the country; and develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts to end food poverty throughout New York City. Every dollar donated to the Food Bank helps provide five meals to New Yorkers in need.

As an independent, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, the Food Bank meets the Better Business Bureau’s charity standards. The Food Bank is a certified member of both Feeding America and the Food Bank Association of New York State. For additional information, visit

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