Access to healthy, nutritious food is essential for physical and emotional well-being. Yet over the past two years, the pandemic has made New York State’s food insecurity crisis more acute, and more vulnerable New Yorkers are in need of support.
To help meet the growing needs of outer-borough families struggling with food insecurity during the pandemic and expand the capacity of their Brooklyn Emergency Food Hub and Mobile Marketplace, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation provided a $750,000 grant to St. John’s Bread & Life Program (St. John’s), a community-based organization that serves meals throughout Brooklyn and Queens to over 1,400 New Yorkers each day.
Through its soup kitchen and mobile soup kitchen, St. John’s serves 9,600 different New York households each year, 78% of whom are low-income people of color. In addition to the meals, St. John’s also provides food and grocery coordination and helps families access social, immigration, and job placement services. In the last fiscal year, St. John’s Bread & Life has served 64,000 households and 253,000 individuals.
The Foundation’s grant was used to increase St. John’s capacity through purchasing more food, hiring additional staff, and acquiring a van to distribute meals. By increasing both the number of meals available and the delivery capabilities of the mobile soup kitchen, the grant enabled St. John’s to serve 40,000 at-risk, low-income individuals up to 400,000 meals. These critical services provided by St. John’s helped communities most impacted by COVID-19 gain access to nutritious, fresh, and life-saving meals.
St. John’s is a prime example of how local organizations, during times of emergency, can ramp up their services and meet vulnerable communities where they are to ensure all New Yorkers have access to essential needs.
To support St. John’s “Fill the Truck Food Drive for Hunger Awareness Month” campaign, please visit their donation page.