Before the coronavirus crisis, more than a million New Yorkers were unsure where their next meal was coming from. With hundreds of thousands more now out of work, Mayor de Blasio says that number has grown closer to two million.
"No New Yorker will go hungry,” de Blasio said. “No matter what it takes, we will provide food to everyone who needs it."
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The city is now pledging to deliver one million meals a day, a staggering number that would more than double the 3.1 millions meals delivered weekly. As a result, the city is calling out for help from community organizations and volunteers.
"If you are a non-profit, a community-based organization, there are a lot of great ways we can partner with you,” de Blasio said. “First of all, we need to immediately find an additional 300 staff members who can manage distribution sites. So if you are a non-profit with that skill, we need you to come forward right away."
Help preparing meals is another area of need.
The mayor says the new capacity calls for commercial kitchen space and the city is willing to work with companies to get those spaces back into commission to help feed New Yorkers.
The new initiative is hoping to have meals reflect the cultural diversity of the city.
"We are going to make sure people are fed, if we can help people to have some of the foods they are familiar with in the process that is even better."
The city has identified several neighborhoods across the five boroughs where they are hoping to concentrate the expansion of food delivery services.
"Having the kitchen capacity, having the delivery locally, the more local obviously the less traveling around, the more efficient, the speedier, the better,” de Blasio said.
Any non profit organization or individual who thinks they can help the city with the expanding food program is asked to go to NYC.gov/nonprofits.