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The two organizations will cook, pack, deliver, and serve nutritious meals to Food Bank’s member agencies and local residents in West Harlem on this year’s day of service


(January 13, 2022, New York, NY) — Food Bank For New York City, in collaboration with longtime partner Barilla, will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this year through a day of service, in which they will cook, pack, serve, and deliver 1,500 meals to community partners and local residents in Harlem. Barilla, who have helped raise $1.7 million for the Food Bank over our decades long relationship, will provide all the food and ingredients, and meals will be delivered to organizations including Harlem Grown, Safe Horizon, and local senior centers.

“During this time of uncertainty and social distancing, connecting with our community can feel especially difficult,” said Food Bank’s Head Chef, Sheri Jefferson. “My team and I are grateful and appreciative to join together in an effort to provide some healing in a community that has been hit hard by COVID-19. We are proud to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by helping our neighbors.” Chef Sheri and her team will partner with Barilla chefs to prepare an enormous number of meals with a small group of volunteers.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for emergency food distribution has skyrocketed. Prior to the pandemic, nearly 1.1 million New Yorkers were food insecure; now, that number is as high as 1.6 million. Furthermore, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted people of color. In 32 states, Black Americans have died at higher rates than their proportion of the population. Black Americans have also been about twice as likely to face food insecurity than white Americans during the pandemic. Food Bank For New York City has worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide meals to those facing food insecurity in all five boroughs.

“As a family-owned food company, it is our strong belief that good, nutritious food should be available to all,” said Melissa Tendick, Vice President of Marketing at Barilla Americas. “We are proud to continue our meaningful partnership with Food Bank for New York City to feed New Yorkers in need.”

Food Bank is also offering an at-home volunteer opportunity for neighbors to feel connected to their communities by assembling snack, winter, and hygiene kits and sending them distribution sites in their borough. The kits will contain the most needed items as identified by Food Bank and their partner agencies, and participants are encouraged to participate in groups and share experiences on social media. Once the kits are sent to member agencies by January 24, they will be handed out to clients, including families, seniors, students, those who may already have been facing challenges prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, and also those who may be making use of their services for the first time.


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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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