“To serve, you only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
On Monday, January 15th, Food Bank staff, Food Bank Board and Junior Board of Directors, sponsors, and special guests came together to volunteer at Food Bank’s Community Kitchen & Food Pantry in Harlem to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy.
This year’s day of service focused on Central Harlem, the neighborhood with the highest meal gap in Manhattan, where more than 29% of Central Harlem residents struggle with food insecurity and 25% rely on SNAP benefits. Food Bank’s strategically located Community Kitchen & Food Pantry in Harlem helps long-term residents afford to stay in the neighborhood.
In partnership with Barilla, over 200 volunteers gathered at the Community Kitchen & Food Pantry to prepare 1,800 nutritious meals to distribute to our member agencies in the Harlem community. An “Orange Army” represented by Food Bank staff hit the streets to spread awareness about SNAP enrollment, the tax assistance program and volunteering opportunities at the Community Kitchen and Pantry. The “Orange Army” also directed anyone who was interested in enrollment to visit our mobile benefits truck, which we had parked outside of our Community Kitchen & Food Pantry for the day. Some volunteers sorted and repacked food at our Warehouse in the Bronx to ensure New Yorkers in Harlem and beyond have the resources they need.
Additionally, volunteers deep cleaned and painted a beautiful mural in the pantry, completed a garden makeover, handed out hot chocolate to pedestrians in the community, restocked the pantry with Barilla product, and children made cookies and decorated cards for seniors.
Food Bank For New York City is thankful to the following community partners and sponsors: Barilla, Whole Foods, Dunkin Donuts, for their participation in Done in a Day For MLK!