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Food Bank’s 5-Borough Challenge Heats Up As New Teammates Join The Competition

Who will come out on top in Food Bank's 5 Borough Challenge?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2020

Contact: Lindsey Brown-McLravy, lindsey@slate-pr.com
Joana Casas-Acosta, jacosta@foodbanknyc.org

New York Yankees’ Aaron Boone Joins Team Bronx as Co-Captain; Bella Hadid Will Support Team Manhattan; Top DJs from NYC’s Most Iconic Hip Hop and R&B Radio Stations, and More Join to Represent Their Boroughs to Help Fight Hunger in NYC

New York, NY — Food Bank For New York City, along with longtime partner Bank of America, and media partners HOT 97 and WBLS, is well underway with the 5-Borough Challenge – a social media and crowdfunding initiative to raise money to provide 1 million meals to New Yorkers in need by the end of the year. New native and current New York celebrities have joined this fundraising competition as borough teammates, supporting our previously announced celebrity Team Captains as they encourage fans and egg their friends to donate to their team borough through social media.

All five teams, one for each borough, are competing to raise a total of 1 million meals for New York City. Every donation is being matched, dollar for dollar, by Bank of America, which has committed a $100,000 donation towards the 5 Borough Challenge.

Hot97 and WBLS, two New York City institutions in hip hop and R&B music, are adding their weight to the competition with support from some of the stations’ biggest names and legendary DJs: DJ Enuff will represent Team Brooklyn; DJ Marly Marl and DJ Camilo will join Team Queens; Kast One and TT Torrez are representing Team Bronx; Shaila joins Team Manhattan; and DJ Stacks represents Team Staten Island.

Also joining in on the fun to help fight hunger in New York City are new members of Team Bronx including Aaron Boone, who joins Desus Nice as a team Co-Captain, plus photographer Tutes. Tavi Gevinson and Eric West have been added to Team Brooklyn, joining Tracy Morgan, Omar Epps and Nia Long. Rapper Shyheim represents Team Staten Island, joining Alyssa Milano and Selita Ebanks. Bella Hadid will support Team Manhattan, joining Jo Firestone, Lauren Patten, Liz Eiswein, Samuel Krost, Catherine Cohen, Tamron Hall, Eli Brown, and New York Nico. Drea de Matteo and Julie Chen are representing Team Queens.

“Just as we did this past summer, our stations are glad to be back helping provide meals for our neighbors who may need extra help this holiday season,” said Skip Dillard, Vice President of Programming at WBLS. “Food insecurity has greatly increased due to the pandemic and we look forward to working alongside our listeners and our media sponsor to make a difference. We are also glad to have Fidelis Care join as a partner to help amplify this campaign.”

The 5-Borough Challenge kicked off on Black Friday, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving, statistically one of the hardest days of the year for New Yorkers in need of a meal, when many soup kitchens and food pantries are closed. With the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic putting many people out of work and rapidly increasing the need for assistance, the demand on the emergency food network has surged. Food Bank For New York City reports that the vast majority of soup kitchens and food pantries have been serving more New Yorkers during the pandemic than they were previously: many agencies have seen their number of visitors double. Even before COVID-19, the demand for food was already high: nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers were already food insecure.

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About Food Bank For New York City

Since 1983, Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers. Through its network of more than 1,000 charities and schools citywide, Food Bank provided more than 80 million free meals last year for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank For New York City’s income support services, including food stamps (also known as SNAP) and free tax assistance for the working poor, put nearly $36 million each year into the pockets of New Yorkers, helping them to afford food and achieve greater dignity and independence. Food Bank’s nutrition education programs and services empower more than 50,000 children, teens and adults to sustain a healthy diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget. Working toward long-term solutions to food poverty, Food Bank develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts. To learn more about how you can help, please visit foodbanknyc.org. Follow us on Facebook (FoodBank4NYC), Twitter (@FoodBank4NYC) and Instagram (@FoodBank4NYC).

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About Bank of America

About Bank of America: At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).

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About HOT 97

WQHT HOT 97 FM is the world’s first all Hip Hop station and has held the dominant position as culture creators in New York and beyond for over twenty five years. HOT 97 is best known for its celebrity on-air talent, such as Ebro Darden (Asst. Program Director, host of Ebro In The Morning, Apple Music Executive), Funk Flex (television host, multiple gold records), DJ Enuff (President of the Heavy Hitters DJ crew), Drewski (Vh1’s Love & Hip Hop), Peter Rosenberg (Ebro In The Morning, ESPN, WWE, and Complex host) and Nessa (host for MTV’s Total Request Late Night, and NBC/USA Networks Talk Stoop), as well as being the world’s premier source for Hip Hop music culture. HOT 97 online and the HOT 97 app are the destinations for original web series, celebrity content, concerts, and music videos. For more information, please visit HOT97.comfacebook.com/HOT97official, or twitter.com/HOT97.

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About WBLS

For over 40 years WBLS has been America’s most recognizable Black radio station, serving as a source of entertainment, information, and empowering programming for the community. 60% of WBLS’ Urban Adult Contemporary audience are between the ages of 25-54. Broadcasting award winning and internationally known personalities like Steve Harvey, Shaila, Deja Vu, Lenny Green, Dahved Levy, DJ Marley Marl, DJ Red Alert, Chuck Chillout & more. Living here, breathing here, being here – today, WBLS remains at the heart of the Black community and serves as the #1 source for R&B Music and Lifestyle in the Tri-State. Connect with us at wbls.com, on Instagram @wbls1075nyc, Twitter @wbls1075fm, and at facebook.com/wbls1075nyc.

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About Fidelis Care

Fidelis Care provides quality, affordable health insurance coverage to more than 1.7 million people of all ages and at all stages of life in New York State. For more information, please visit fideliscare.org and connect with us on Instagram (@FidelisCare).

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