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Food Bank’s TEN Program Wins Innovation Award

4/22/13 - by Angela Ebron

We’re excited to announce that Food Bank For New York City’s Tiered Engagement Network (TEN) program has received the prestigious 2013 Innovation Award from Feeding America, besting more than 200 other food banks! All of us at Food Bank are extremely proud of this honor, which recognizes TEN as a national model of innovation, creativity and efficiency.

Hunger's Hope Award - TEN

We launched TEN last year as a new, community-based approach to fighting hunger. Our thinking was simple: People in high-need neighborhoods should be able to easily access a variety of benefits beyond food—from food stamps to tax assistance and more—whether they walk through the door of a soup kitchen on their block or a hospital around the corner. We knew that some of our members didn’t have the capacity to provide a multitude of services, but other larger sites in the same neighborhoods did. If we found a way to link them together, residents could be referred to agencies right in their own communities, giving them access to a broad range of services close to home. TEN was the vehicle to make that happen. Today we’re continuing to expand the program by bringing more agencies into the fold.

Pat Curtin, Food Bank’s TEN coordinator, provides information about the program to emergency food providers in the South Bronx.

Pat Curtin, Food Bank’s Senior Manager of Agency Engagement and Capacity, provides information about the program to emergency food providers in the South Bronx.

This accolade from Feeding America is an acknowledgement of TEN’s ability to create robust and far-reaching neighborhood networks within communities that not only work to fight hunger, but also to reduce poverty and increase access to vital benefits. More specifically, we were recognized for our achievements in a short amount of time and for the successful integration of our campus pantries, tax program and disaster response into TEN. This is a proud moment for Food Bank, one we could not have achieved without the hard work and commitment of our 1,000 member network. But we aren’t resting on our laurels. As we savor this award, we’re also using it as an incentive to push harder and create new innovations that will make life better for the 1.5 million struggling New Yorkers we serve.

Angela Ebron is Food Bank For New York City’s writer and editor.

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