A Special Visit from NYC Mayor's Office Food Policy Director

Posted on November 16, 2016 by admin  |  Share

Barbara Turk Praises Catholic Chariites Bronx Food Hub

Jeanne McGettigan (Catholic Charities), Daryl Foriest and NYC Mayor's Office Director Barbara Turk(center) along with staff and partners 

By Daryl Foriest

Catholic Charities Bronx Food Hub Director


At our new Catholic Charities food hub in the Bronx we were delighted to be visited this past Monday, November 14, by NYC Mayor’s Office Food Policy Director Barbara Turk.

Ms. Turk was so impressed with our commitment to our neighbors,  our hub’s efficiency and the programs she saw there that she offered to speak on behalf of Catholic Charities food donations that keeps these programs afloat.

Our new Bronx Food Hub located at the South Bronx Community Center at 402 East. 152 Street, takes hunger head on, multiplying food-option availability while empowering those served. 

With capacity to receive, sort and distribute 100,000 pounds of food each month (that’s 80,000 meals), it makes “just-in-time” deliveries to nearly two dozen secular and religious partner programs of all faiths in the Bronx and Upper Manhattan.  This allows these smaller food programs to keep their doors open despite funding cuts and maximize grocery options.

As for these smaller programs, I had invited five soup kitchen and pantry programs that serve the poor and recently lost funding to meet with Barbara. They once served as permanent staples for the hungry in their respective communities. But after they lost funding their doors would have closed.  Our food hub -- combined with the gut determination of those who run them -- allow these programs to remain open.

For example, after nearly two decades serving the hungry, St. Matthews AME and Friendly Hands churches went beyond the call of duty when recent road blocks were placed in front of them. Instead of giving up when they lost funding they went into their own pockets to maintain at least the basic needs of their neighbors. Nuns shopped, begged, borrowed and cooked to serve hungry children and families.  But instead of feeding the hundreds a week who came to them they were reduced to being able to serve a hand full.

Catholic Charities stepped in with our new food hub and made them partners. This turned their programs around and enabled them to again meet the needs of the long lines of hungry that turn to them.

As for us and our Catholic Charities food hub, it was an honor to meet and receive kudos from Ms. Turk.