State Senator Addabbo Identifies Queens Recipients and Provides Volunteer Support;October Is Hunger Awareness Month
Queens, NY, October 22, 2010 -- NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and 40 volunteers worked with Feed The Children (FTC) and AVON, during a food distribution for families in need in Queens on Tuesday, October 19, between 1-5 PM. Three (3) semi tractor-trailers full of food and supplies arrived in Forest Park’s George Seuffert Sr. Band Shell Parking Lot on Forest Park Drive to help 1,200 families previously identified as most in need, after the Senator’s staff contacted emergency food programs in his district. Collaborating local food pantries and soup kitchens including the Ridgewood Older Adult Center and Services and Elohim Community Development Center in Richmond Hill then distributed 1,200 vouchers before the distribution on Tuesday.
The distribution was the latest stop on Feed The Children’s Americans Feeding Americans Caravan, which has helped more than 160,000 families across the country in cities that have been affected by the nation’s prolonged economic downturn. Feed The Children’s goal is to help at least 200,000 families with the caravan by the end of 2010.
On Tuesday morning, seven (7) trucks went to 369th Armory at 2366 Fifth Avenue in Harlem where Feed The Children had previously distributed 2,800 vouchers for families in need. The vouchers were divided and distributed among the food pantries and soup kitchens based on a ratio of 1 in 3 families getting a voucher if they needed assistance every week. Families with vouchers picked up 3 boxes from corporate donors AVON, Kraft, Procter & Gamble and many more, containing their products within a 25-pound box of food, a 10-pound box of personal care items, and a box of AVON products including a recruiting tool to empower women to be their own bosses and harness their entrepreneurial spirit through the AVON opportunity. A total of 4,000 New York City families were helped by this event, only the second New York City stop on the caravan since it began in 2009.
At Forest Park, Feed The Children representatives helped Senator Addabbo, Dawn Puricelli, Head of Product Line Control AVON North America, dozens of volunteers including PS 254 students (Richmond Hill) and beloved NY METS mascot Mr. Met, to give out the boxes and greet the families.
Senator Addabbo noted, “We can’t do this alone – there’s a growing need in our borough and in our district – since the harsh recession began, the meals served by food pantries and soup kitchens in Queens rose 106% between 2006 and 2009, an additional 14.3 million meals. ‘Food insecurity’ is a term that was coined to define households that are uncertain of having or acquiring enough food for all those members. Overall, some 87,500 Queens households were either unable to obtain enough food for their families or were uncertain about having enough food. Who are the vulnerable needing such assistance?
Children, the working poor, seniors, veterans, whose need for food averages 600 meals a week served to district families in emergency situations. Our local programs help the
unemployed and vulnerable persons, who are the face of the steep, prolonged downturn in our economy, which created this unprecedented demand for food. We have to raise awareness of this need and do what we can to help people through this difficult time.”
Tony Sellars, Feed The Children spokesperson, said: “Our trucks and their drivers are
on the road, going across our country to deliver food to local partners in the big
cities – we rely on local agencies to work as our foot soldiers when we come into their
cities. Only with their help can we put resources into the hands of those most in need.
Today, FTC Americans Feeding Americans Caravan is feeding 4,000 families in Manhattan and in Queens. The number of children in the state of New York living in poverty could fill Madison Square Garden 44 times. This year, as we’ve traveled to inner cities, we saw that hunger is border to border, coast to coast. So far, we’ve aided 160,000 families but our goal is 200,000 by the end of 2010. We’re heading to Washington, D.C., next in a couple of weeks, offering a helping hand to those who lost a job or found themselves downsized from the middle class into poverty. This is a grassroots effort, and we depend on our local contacts on the ground to get these resources to families in need. We need you to continue to help the unemployed, those in poverty, those suffering from this deep recession. We appreciate AVON, Senator Addabbo, our partner agencies and the volunteers for helping to make yet another Americans Feeding Americans distribution possible for families in need of a hand up.”
Dawn Puricelli of AVON added, “This outreach to the local community doesn’t end today. Sponsors like AVON will continue joining the FTC caravan as it travels to other towns and cities.
We gave a box of products to each family and something special for empowering women opening that box, to boost their self esteem. I call it a ‘Mom Box’ because there’s also something inside that will help women to earn income. It’s our way of caring for women. We’re happy to be a sponsor and we’re going to continue this effort.”
Tony Miranda, Director of Elohim Community Development Corporation in Richmond Hill, was “overwhelmed” by this extra donation of items, designed to help a family for up to one week: “Our food pantry has expanded and we’re now helping 1,600 families per week. We were providing over 600 families and individuals a week with free groceries. Each of our food package provides a family with one complete meal per week and supplemental groceries like cereal and fruit. Queens is considered by some of our food providers closer to Manhattan as being ‘way out there,’ but we have 2.3 million population in this county alone. There are 480,000 families at risk of food insecurity in Queens.”
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