BY JASMINE PALMA
The Francine A. LeFrak Foundation has expanded its partnership with Food Bank For New York City in the midst of increased demand in the city’s emergency food network. The decision was made to enhance the capacity of food pantries and soup kitchens in Queens.
The Food Bank For New York City is the largest hunger relief organization with over 800 food pantries and soup kitchens in the city. The organization released a report on food insecurity following the COVID-19 pandemic, that found that prior to the pandemic an estimated 1.2 million people face food insecurity in New York City.
In May, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city believes this number has surpassed 2 million people.
Amid grocery prices increasing, unemployment, universal free school meals severely limited due to school closures, and more than half of the food pantries running out of food, 91 percent of food pantries and soup kitchens have reported an increase in first-time visitors and there has been a 21 percent increase in overall food distribution.
“As New York begins to open up, we can’t turn our backs to those who are still hungry,” Francine A. LeFrak said, president of the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation.
In response to the increased need, the foundation’s funding will assist 14 local Queens food pantries and soup kitchens to increase their food supply and to build infrastructure such as improved refrigeration and storage.
Moreover, the funds will establish the Elmcor Youth & Adult Activities, a new establishment of the Food Bank of New York City’s community response partners network across the five boroughs responsible for large scale emergency food distribution in places with great need.
“Thank you to the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation for their continued support during this difficult time. This funding will help to build capacity in high-need communities at a time when fortifying the city’s emergency food network is critical,” said Leslie Gordon, president and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “As heightened food insecurity continues to plague our city, we are grateful for their support and for the generosity of all of our partners who are helping to ensure New Yorkers have food on their tables.”
You can learn more on how to support the Food Bank here.