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Neighbors facing challenges from food insecurity to loss of income and employment to receive portraits as keepsakes to preserve memories and uplift their connection to Food Bank For New York City


February 14, 2022 (New York, NY) – Today, Food Bank For New York City announced the launch of Portraits of Promise, a project to connect with individuals and families who frequently visit its Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in West Harlem beyond the food line by participating in professional holiday-themed photo sessions that result in photos they can take with them to display in their living spaces, helping them feel seen and celebrated.

For New Yorkers facing challenges from food insecurity to paying rent, capturing special moments and memories through individual and family portraits, which can often be costly, is not always a top priority. Camesha Grant, Food Bank’s Vice President of Community Connection and Outreach saw this need firsthand in her work at Food Bank and envisioned Portraits of Promise as a recurring initiative centered upon holidays and seasonal events. For Valentine’s Day this year, more than a dozen groups and individuals gathered in front of a bright pink backdrop to smile for portraits they can cherish for years to come.

“At Food Bank For New York City, it’s important for our neighbors to feel a strong sense of community, dignity, and hope when they visit our kitchen, especially around holidays and special occasions,” said Leslie Gordon, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “Portraits of Promise recognizes that for many of our friends, families, and neighbors, having printed and digital portraits is often out of reach for many reasons, including the high costs associated with production. We want to take an often over-overlooked opportunity and make it more accessible.”

“The goal of Portraits of Promise is to provide individuals and families with more than nutritious food and groceries, it’s to help them preserve memories through photography with a keepsake portrait they can cherish for years,” said Dr. Camesha Grant, Vice President of Community Connection and Outreach. “For nearly 40 years, Food Bank For New York City has represented stability for millions of New Yorkers and we want to ensure that we are giving every person we serve moments to remember with dignity and respect.”

Food Bank For New York City will host portrait events around upcoming holidays and special events. The intention is that individuals and families will have uplifting memories for generations to come.

For more information, please visit

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About Food Bank For New York City

Food Bank For New York City is the largest hunger relief organization of the city fighting food insecurity on the ground since 1983. By partnering with over 800 soup kitchens, food pantries, and campus partners across the five boroughs, Food Bank is able to make a direct impact in the communities that need it most, providing some 1.4 billion meals to New Yorkers since its founding. But food alone can’t solve hunger. That’s why Food Bank employs a two-prong approach of Community Nourishment programming (to provide immediate and reliable access to food today) with Economic Empowerment programming (to equip people with the tools they need to achieve food security into tomorrow and beyond). All of these services – from grab-and-go pantry bags to hot meals, tax filing assistance, SNAP enrollment, nutrition education, and financial empowerment workshops – are free and available to anyone who needs them. To learn more about Food Bank’s mission to dignify, nourish, and empower ALL New Yorkers facing food insecurity, visit

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