Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand visited Agatha House in the Bronx. Founded in 2014, Agatha House has recently expanded efforts to fight hunger in the community by creating a sidewalk food pantry. Senator Gillibrand thanked staff and volunteers at Agatha House and Foodbank for New York City; and participated in packing and distributing food to the Bronx community.
“The Bronx has been the epicenter of the epicenter of COVID-19. In a borough where communities were already struggling to get by, I am grateful for and inspired by the volunteers I met this afternoon who have risen to the challenge of feeding their neighbors,” said Senator Gillibrand. “But resilient communities cannot thrive without the support of federal legislators, which is why I will keep fighting to ensure that food banks and community-based organizations have the resources they need to meet food insecurity, and to ensure that hungry New Yorkers can access the SNAP program in order to feed their families.”
“Food pantries across the city are serving more and more first-time visitors, laid-off and furloughed workers, and families with children. As we battle health and economic challenges, Food Bank For New York City is working closely with our community partners like Agatha House and our network of more than 800 food pantries and soup kitchens in all five boroughs to ensure that every community has access to healthy food,” said Leslie Gordon, President and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. “But charity alone is not enough; we must support these on-the-ground efforts with meaningful federal legislation and advocacy to tackle hunger and food insecurity, especially in underserved communities and communities of color. Thank you to Senator Gillibrand for always being a champion in the fight to end hunger and for highlighting this important issue.”
“Agatha House Foundation was created in memory of my mother Agatha Joseph who was an advocate for children and families in our community as I was growing up. Following her passing in February 2014, the desire to do more led me to begin Agatha House Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to provide hope and resources for those without life essentials. Partnering with Food Bank For New York City since January 2016 has been an amazing experience and we look forward to continuing a successful relationship in the future,” said Jeannette Joseph-Greenaway, CEO Agatha House Foundation.
Already a massive issue, food insecurity in the Bronx has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, more than 40 million Americans are currently jobless and many are struggling to put food on the table. Senator Gillibrand previously introduced the Food Bank Access to Farm Fresh Produce Act to address disruptions in the food supply chain caused by the coronavirus pandemic and directly connect farms to food banks as they continue to serve the surge of jobless Americans.