COVID surges are occurring with a vengeance. We are watching the numbers of cases explode, businesses close and lines of hungry people grow. In Queens, NY our neighbors are standing in the cold for hours to get food to feed their families.
This is America! How can this be happening before our eyes?
The sheer volume of New Yorkers in need is astounding. More than 2,000,000 people in New York are hungry. The Francine A. LeFrak Foundation and the Same Sky Foundation have teamed up with the Food Bank for New York City. The two foundations have been able to help 1,000,000 more people who had never been on a food line before.
We identified Elmhurst as the epicenter of the virus early on and filled the gap of growing hunger. We set up mobile food pantries and stocked 17 food pantries and soup kitchens with extra food to accommodate the growing hunger problem. The relief that these mobile pantries provided in LeFrak City and Rego Park were incredible. There was food for everyone who needed it. What warmed my heart the most was how neighbors supported neighbors. New York can be a cold place, but here is an example of how kind and philanthropic people can be, even when they have nothing.
We saw neighbors knocking on each other’s doors and bringing food to each other. Those who were able became volunteers. Neighborhoods came together to ensure that no one went to bed hungry. This dark time has become a pandemic of love, a pandemic of hope, a pandemic of kindness highlighting the best of what New Yorkers have to offer.
What unites us all in this perilous time is the eagerness to help one another. From Harlem, NY to Los Angeles, CA, communities set up “community fridges” where everyone could participate. Instead of feeling powerless, these community-based mutual aid groups are rallying in the face of this horrific crisis. People are helping each other, and, in the process, they are getting to know their neighbors. We see what makes Americans so special. In this unprecedented time, we have seen utterly magnificent behavior. We can all take pride in that!
Join us as we continue to provide support and resources to those in need. Be the hero we know you can be and help feed New Yorkers by supporting the Food Bank for New York City HERE.