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Food Bank Calls for Community Support During Coronavirus Public Health Crisis

Emergency food network expects increased need among low-income and hourly workers. New Yorkers encouraged to donate or volunteer during this critical time.

NEW YORK – Amid mounting concerns around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis, Food Bank For New York City is calling on New Yorkers to support those struggling with food insecurity during this critical time. Food Bank anticipates an extreme rise in need for food and resources in the coming weeks, particularly among vulnerable New Yorkers such as seniors with chronic medical conditions, families with children who may lose up to two free school meals each day as NYC’s public schools remain closed for at least the next five weeks, and low-income and hourly workers.

“People across the country are experiencing fear and uncertainty right now, and that’s especially magnified for low-income families and our vulnerable senior population,” said Lisa Hines-Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of Food Bank For New York City. “As workers are missing paychecks, we’re bracing for greater demand on the emergency food network. Our ability to impact food insecurity on the frontlines depends on our ability to continue operations. This is an unprecedented time and we need everyone’s help to ensure resources are getting to those who need them the most.”

Food Bank’s Bronx warehouse remains open and trucks are on the road to ensure food is delivered to its network of over 1,000 soup kitchens and food pantries across the city. Food Bank’s Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in Harlem is temporarily suspending in-house activities at its senior program, and to-go meals and pre-packaged pantry bags will replace daily sit-down meal service and client-choice pantry service in order to minimize the risk of exposure for clients.

Food Bank continues to monitor the rapidly developing situation, and will provide regular updates on our website and social media channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Donate: The best way you can help fuel our emergency response is to provide resources. Every $1 provides 5 meals.

Volunteer: Our mission is powered by more than 800 volunteers a week. Meeting the rise in need we already see unfolding will require the help of even more volunteers to help us prepare meals and pack food and other essentials for distribution across the five boroughs.

For more information on Food Bank’s response to the coronavirus, visit www.foodbanknyc.org/COVID-19.

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