UPDATED 12:55 PM PT – Tuesday, November 17, 2020
As families continue to reel from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns, food banks in New York City are stepping in to help for the holidays.
On Monday, the Food Bank for New York City handed out 500 turkeys, canned goods and produce to hundreds of families in Harlem. This is just the latest action amid a citywide effort to lend a helping hand.
Today, we distributed more than 500 turkeys and holiday fixings to our community in West Harlem! This holiday season, more New Yorkers than ever are facing hunger. pic.twitter.com/Uh1IGPWEsi
— Food Bank For New York City (@FoodBank4NYC) November 17, 2020
Several residents said they didn’t expect to need this much help this time around.
“It’s a little shocking and it’s sad…you don’t think of yourself getting on a line…you don’t think you’re going to lose your job, but things happen,” said city resident Ruth Crawford. “But I’m sure things are going to get better…I’m thankful.”
This comes as food banks nationwide have struggled to meet demands as more families find themselves in need. Columbia Research shows the poverty rate has grown by at least 8 million since May as Congress hasn’t agreed on another stimulus relief package.
Meanwhile, state officials believe the unemployment has quadrupled since 2019.
“As we know, the rates of COVID are rising in the city and so the need is increasing along with that. And so, we’re committed at Food Bank for New York City to ensure that as many people as possible have an opportunity to celebrate that all-American holiday of Thanksgiving.”
— Leslie Gordon, President and Chief Executive Officer – Food Bank for New York City.
According to the food bank, around 2 million New York State residents will need food assistance this holiday season. That’s up by more than 500,000 since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the food banks have partnered with Stop-and-Shop and aims to give away 2,000 turkeys before Thanksgiving Day.