Volunteering at NY Food Bank

Volunteering at NY Food Bank



I'm standing in front of the Hunts Point cooperative market in the Bronx where I'll be volunteering for food bank New York this massive building distributes food all across New York City to food pantries soup kitchens and the community kitchen where I'll be volunteering later today in Hartland let's go inside and see how they help feed the largest city in the country hi Carlos thanks so much for having us here today welcome to the food bank in New York City Melissa so tell me what does the food bank do the food bank is a major provider of food to emergency food programs and five boroughs of New York City Phoenix you serve all of New York City all five boroughs and how many people is that we're now serving 1.3 million New Yorkers and so where do you get these products these products come from donations that we receive some of the product we purchase using bulk purchasing powers we purchase wholesale product and some are actually a part of government commodities or government funding that's provided to us so it looks like you have a lot of boxes on this side but then there's tons of empty shelves throughout the warehouse what's going on what's going on is we've seen a tremendous shortage of food over the last few years the economy unfortunately is taken a downturn we're seeing a perfect storm if you would we're seeing a shortage of food and at the same time we're seeing an increase in the number of folks that are coming to our programs so what can people do to help you fill up these shelves wherever your manufacturer we'd love to talk to you about a donation of product so we can help fill up some of these shelves what about individuals can they donate absolutely individuals can participate in our virtual food drive where one dollar can help provide five meals if you want to donate your time and come volunteer with us here either at the warehouse or you can come over to our community kitchen well I'm actually about to head out to volunteer at the community kitchen and pantry and I just want to thank you for taking us behind the scenes and showing us something a lot of people don't get to say we're standing here in front of the kitchen why don't you tell me more about what you do here well the community kitchen is one of the largest emergency feeding programs in New York City it s is what it is is a soup kitchen and a food pantry so what is the soup kitchen do and what is the food pantry yeah well the soup kitchen serves hot nutritious meals to New Yorkers that can't afford food proximately 700 dinner meals go out of here per day we also have a breakfast service which happens twice a week and the pantry is a mini market style food pantry for people that can't afford food so let's start in the pantry come with me that's great we're here with Audrey miss Audrey pop was a volunteer she's become a staff person she's been with us for about two years she's a great person to leave you in the hands up so I'll see you in the kitchen Thank You Audrey this is our produce counter okay and we want to start stocking all right I will start with the radish and you can start with the oranges and so from the proto such an how many families do you serve with the food you have here well we usually serve about 150 families per day sometimes a little old over and this is our fresh produce that we're going to be stocking up now and we also have hand produce it almost doesn't seem like quite enough produce for all those families no it's not and we could really use a lot more but right now this is what we have so this is what we have wonderful done it started all right okay hi Dan this is Melissa I knew this Oh volunteered how long have you been coming to the food pantry possibly found it really helped you out oh very much so they supplements my only income and I appreciate it and I feel very blessed and it really helps me and are a lot of people you know having issues with affording food and needing to come to the country yeah sure sure so some people are saved but I'm not Shane yeah yeah more and more people coming in their lines are getting longer we need much more people to be willing to volunteer so how long have you been volunteering here well I've been doing this since January this year why did you decide to start well I've always wanted to give something back to the community but I didn't have the charms so now we're actually phoned the time because I have my own business so I can actually make the time and so how is the experience been so far it's been pretty good what's the best thing about it seeing the expression on the people's face after arm they've actually elf at the meal and then they're calm can tell you um thank you very much so it gets pretty busy around here yes it does um it's four o'clock and we open up four o'clock so they should be coming in any minute okay so we better get a move on yes with how long have you been coming here six or seven years and what brings you here since I'm a widower and I never had to cook locking me do little eggs and sausage and everything like that but in terms of a well-balanced meal I come here how's the fish Oh they've got actually chef back there he's doing his thing back there and I'm a cook myself anything I was shopping working back to your wedding if the line is 200 people is probably have 400 people outside who were just too ashamed if you will to come to the kitchen there's a lot of people out here hurting and everyone in the first place right hand over FBI so this place is helping out alive how people help your community kitchen we really need food I mean folks can't donate food they can donate money and they can't do it food we're money and they can donate their time to come in and volunteer and volunteering is such a great experience oh great thank you so much and thank you for letting us be here with you today thanks boss you

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