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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

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 Follow us on Facebook (FoodBank4NYC), Twitter (@FoodBank4NYC) and Instagram (@FoodBank4NYC).

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