The expanded Part of the Solution (POTS) will provide essential emergency food services to New Yorkers in need

Bronx, NY- Today, Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Majority Leader Joel Rivera, Council Member Fernando Cabrera and hunger advocates joined Part of the Solution (POTS) at a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil its newly expanded headquarters, thirty years to the day after serving its first meal.

POTS, the largest emergency food program in the Bronx, provides low-income people and their families with essential services to address basic, immediate needs and to help individuals take the next steps to stabilize and improve their lives.

“In hard economic times, it’s vital that organizations like POTS are part of the solution to help New Yorkers in need,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “POTS provides an invaluable service to our community and works with clients to secure federally funded benefits — and now that Governor Cuomo has announced the City will no longer require food stamp applicants to submit to finger imaging, POTS will be able to help even more people get the assistance they need.”

Construction on POTS’ facility expansion began in February of 2010 and was undertaken to improve and expand the scope of services offered to the POTS’ community. These expansions include offering cooking classes to families and providing additional educational programming to its clients. POTS new site will also feature a medical clinic and will convert its existing food pantry to a self-select “grocery store” style model.

“We are delighted to be opening this new facility to better meet the needs of our community. Not only will we serve more people, but we will be able to offer a broader range of services. It’s what our community deserves”, said Donn C. Dolce, Chairman of POTS.

The new 15,000 square foot building, made possible in part with $334,000 in capital funds from the City Council will triple the space for available programs and permit all of POTS programs to operate in a vastly improved physical environment.

“For 30 years, POTS has been an integral part of the Bronx community, serving the vulnerable and offering a safe and welcoming space for those in need,” said Council Member Annabel Palma, Chair of the Council’s Committee on General Welfare. “However, POTS has long since outgrown their previous space, creating a real hardship for the organization and those they serve. That’s why I’m so excited to be a part of the opening of this new facility, which will ensure POTS has the space and resources necessary to continue to serve our community for years to come.”

“This is exciting not only for POTS but also for the community. The number of individuals POTS has served over the years have increased tremendously leading to the inevitable expansion into the new facility. I am proud to have allocated funding to help make this possible. By outgrowing their original space of a simple food pantry, they now have evolved into a full outreach program with the capacity to reach many more individuals under a single roof,” said Council Member Joel Rivera.

“Thirty years ago, Part of the Solution opened its doors to the Bronx as a soup kitchen to feed the hungry,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera. “Today, it’s expanded to become one of the city’s largest multi-service community organizations. POTS does incredible work for our community, and I’m thrilled to help welcome them to their new and improved home.”

Part of the Solution (POTS) opened its doors as a soup kitchen in the Bronx on January 6, 1982. Since then, the organization’s mission has expanded from simply feeding its neighbors to nourishing the needs of the community in a holistic way. POTS is now a multi-service agency that addresses low-income people’s most immediate, basic needs and helps them take the next steps to stabilize and improve their lives. The organization’s guiding belief has always been to respond to the needs of the hungry, homeless, poor and working poor and to serve them with respect and compassion. More than 12,000 people, including 2,500 families with 3,500 children, are expected to benefit from POTS emergency food, case management, and legal services in 2012.