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Food Hub Transforms War Against Hunger

Posted on June 24, 2016 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Catholic Charities Teams Up to Fight Back


Catholic Charities unpacks donations at new South Bronx Food Hub

As staff and volunteers unpacked significant amounts of lettuce, broccoli and beans, Catholic Charities opened doors yesterday to its new South Bronx Food Hub. This 1,050 square-foot food distribution center is slated to transform food choice availability for the hungry the way its Hunts Point Produce Market neighbor down the road transforms grocery store aisles throughout New York City.

Why? Because hunger has taken over too many New York City kitchens.  One in five New Yorkers rely on emergency food banks to survive.  Yet food donations are down. So Catholic Charities is fighting back with new ammunition: a food hub that maximizes donations and distributes them to those most in need.

With hunger up, fridges empty and one out of three families unable to buy the food they need, programs of all sizes have sprung up throughout the city. But they don’t have enough storage space, refrigeration or infrasturcture clientele to distribute the fresh produce and other items they receive before they go bad. 

So the new Food Hub will multiply access to fresh produce and nutritious food choices to a network of pantries and soup kitchens. Moreover, it offers social service support for hungry families to help them move towards greater independence.

The numbers are impressive.The Food Hub has the capacity to receive, sort and distribute 100,000 pounds of food each month – that’s 80,000 meals per month!

It will serve as a provider to the South Bronx and Upper Manhattan communities.Those served, will not only have an enhanced selection of food but more healthy options to eat as well.

Perhaps best of all, the food hub also serves as a central warehouse of social services for nearly two dozen partner programs in the Bronx and upper Manhattan. These pantries and soup kitchens will receive support connecting clients to case management, eviction prevention, education and job training. The hub also provides technical assistance to recruit volunteers. And it provides training to address diabetes, high blood pressure and other medical issues too often confronted by the hungry.

Such a big operation can only be successful with a lot of help. That’s why Catholic Charities lined up donations of bulk shipments of fresh, frozen, and canned food from:

  • Goya Foods
  • City Harvest
  • Food Bank of New York
  • Emergency Food Assistance Program
  • United Way

“We appreciate Catholic Charities’ dedication,” says City Harvest Executive Director Jilly Stephens, “for distributing this food across their network of programs in some of the neediest communities in the city.”