Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Food Bank For New York City Highlight Successful Launch of Citywide School Food Pantry Initiative

16 Schools Across NYC Participate in Effort to Combat Food Insecurity and Provide City Students with Necessary Food and Hygiene Items

Bronx, NY – Today, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, joined by Food Bank For New York City President and CEO Margarette Purvis, Department of Education Executive Director of Community Schools Chris Caruso and District 17 Council Member Rafael Salamanca, visited the East Bronx Academy for the Future High School to bring attention to the successful launch of the School Food Pantry Initiative.

Announced in November 2016, the School Food Pantry Initiative is the result of a collaboration between the New York City Council, Food Bank and the NYC Department of Education in an effort to identify schools in high-poverty communities that would benefit from an additional neighborhood pantry. Building on the Council’s commitment to combat food insecurity, this initiative marks the first time the City has invested in pantries in schools. As today’s visit underscored, the program – which has been operational since early 2017 – is providing thousands of students in 16 schools across the five boroughs with access to food, basic personal items and feminine hygiene products.

“Every element of a child’s growth is predicated on their ability to remain cared for and well-fed,” said New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Whether entering elementary school or looking at graduating high school, no child should have to worry about where their next meal will come from, or how they might prepare themselves for tomorrow. Through the City Council’s collaboration with Food Bank For New York City, this pilot program has already ensured that for thousands of students across the city.”

“Community Schools are neighborhood hubs and strong partnerships are at the center, giving us the ability to provide families with access to things like healthy food and personal hygiene supplies,” said New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “I am grateful for the ongoing support of the City Council and the Food Bank of New York and we will continue to work together to find innovative ways to expand health and wellness programs to improve outcomes for all students and families.”

Over the last four years, the City Council has prioritized sustained and expanded funding for anti-hunger programs that support the 1.4 million New Yorkers who struggle with food insecurity annually. This has included successfully securing the expansion of Universal School Meals in stand-alone middle schools, and Breakfast in the Classroom in elementary schools, as well as increasing funding for the city’s Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP). In addition, the City Council has increased initiative funding applied toward the Citywide Food Pantries and Benefits Access Initiative and the DYCD Food Pantries Initiative. In November 2016, the Council announced $595,000 in funding for the 16 schools now hosting campus food pantries.

“In our city, more than one in four children is living in poverty. Food Bank For New York City is grateful for the support and partnership of the New York City Council and the Department of Education to create 16 new campus pantries that address the need for food and other essentials,” said President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City Margarette Purvis. “I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the entire City Council for seeing the indignities that poverty inflicts upon children and families, and taking decisive and effective steps to address them – this is the essence of leadership.”

“I know many educators throughout our schools worry that when students go home, many may go to bed without dinner, and that’s tragic,” said District 17 Council Member Rafael Salamanca. “The campus pantries work to help alleviate that problem, which will help students – regardless of what grade – achieve more in the classroom. That’s why I support them.”

13 of the 16 facilities hosting food pantries are classified as Community Schools. Community Schools, including East Bronx Academy for the Future High School, represent a partnership between school staff, families, youth, and the local community to raise student achievement by ensuring that children are physically, emotionally, and socially prepared to learn. Community Schools act as neighborhood centers by providing access to critical programs and services such as health care, mentoring, adult education and – through the School Food Pantry program – food pantries.

Participating School Food Pantry Schools:

Bronx

  • DeWitt Clinton High School
  • The Angelo Patri Middle School
  • H.S. 022 Jordan L. Mott
  • East Bronx Academy for the Future

Brooklyn

  • Juan Morel Campos Secondary School
  • S. 297 Abraham Stockton
  • S. 298 Betty Shabazz
  • Brooklyn Collegiate: A College Board School

Manhattan

  • Mosaic Prepatory Academy
  • Wadleigh Secondary School for the Performing & Visual Arts
  • S. 4 The Duke Ellington School

Queens

  • S. 111 Jacob Blackwell
  • H.S. 008 Richard S. Grossley
  • S. 19 Marino Jeantet
  • S. 197 The Ocean School

Staten Island

  • Port Richmond High School

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