24-hour campaign raises awareness for childhood summer hunger

Stephon Johnson | 6/8/2017, 2:32 p.m.
One thing that some people say others take for granted: a summer away from school in which a child doesn’t ...
Children with fruit Flickr

“We’re looking to engage upward of 800 volunteers as part of our programs,” stated Tezen. Those programs include Food Bank’s warehouse at Hunts Point in the Bronx and community kitchen in Harlem. He continued, “We wanted to present a platform for our partners to get involved. At a moment when the national school and breakfast program that young people in our city rely on is coming to an end, we have to engage with people and get them involved.”

The event in Times Square came the same week that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new budget that included an increase in funding to food pantries and soup kitchens through the Emergency Food Assistance Program and an expansion of universal school meals. Food Bank for New York City President and CEO Margarette Purvis said that the mayor’s move proves that he’s working on behalf of forgotten people.

“At a time when 1.5 million New Yorkers are relying on Food Bank’s programs and services, and Washington policymakers are threatening to make it even harder for individuals and families to afford basic needs, the decisions we make locally matter more than ever,” Purvis emphasized. “Budgets make up the prioritized plan reflected in dollars and cents. The budget that Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito have negotiated for the coming fiscal year reflects values that we share.”

Purvis continued, “The fight to end hunger is far from over. Approximately half of all city food pantries and soup kitchens reported running out of food last year, and a third reported having to turn people away due to food shortages. A meal gap of 242 million persists. Today’s funding commitment is a strong and positive step. In the weeks and months ahead, we will need to continue to work together as a city to close this meal gap.”