Hunger in the community: Food Bank does its part to help

Stephon Johnson | 2/19/2016, 3:38 p.m.
When the AmNews visited the Food Bank for New York City’s Community Kitchen & Food Pantry in Harlem earlier this ...
Canned food Flickr

“They can come here, bring the appropriate documentation and apply right in this space,” said Grant. “It's an opportunity for us to maximize the moment that they're here by engaging them in other conversations about the other needs they have that led them to this line.”

Its clear how much Food Bank means to the people who use it. In the community kitchen's dining area, older Harlem residents who participate in the program greet workers by name and talk about their day. One spoke happily about a conversation she had with a cook over recommended changes to the food served. At the time, Food Bank (which is only open on weekdays), was planning a special "Souper Bowl Sunday" party to be held in the kitchen area. Back over on the pantry side, a young mother - who wished to remain anonymous - spoke with the AmNews while shopping for new items in the pantry. The woman has one child and she lives with her parents and grandparents in the same apartment.

“Sometimes you have to make ends meet and this help poor families, you know,” she said. “I found out about Food Bank because one of my neighbors used to come here and sometimes she would share some of her stuff with me when I was low with my groceries.”

When asked how much Food Bank means to her the young woman said “It means a lot. It goes a long way. It helps feed families.” She said that she comes to Food Bank to feed her child and her grandparents mostly.

But Food Bank is working against the tide and working for those without. From now until whenever, they feel they're poised to look out for the needs of poor and working class New Yorkers.

“It's not just about food, it's about getting connected to a long term sustainable opportunities to take care of yourself and your family,” said Grant.