The Table Food Pantry, located at 6025 Sixth Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, distributed Thanksgiving meal kits to 700 families during its weekly service this past Friday. Part of the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, The Table provides nutritious food to improve community health.
In anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday, State Senator Zellnor Myrie, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez made a special donation of frozen turkeys and hot meals, and helped distribute the food packages.
“We are very grateful for our partners who help provide emergency food to the community,” says Larry K. McReynolds, executive director of the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone. “Especially at this time when many families are feeling a heightened sense of food insecurity around the holidays and during the ongoing pandemic.”
"We know this Thanksgiving will look very different for most of us,” says Senator Myrie. “It’s my pleasure to share some holiday warmth, and some critical food and other supplies, with our Sunset Park neighbors in need this season. I’m grateful to NYU Langone and my colleagues and other partners in organizing this event.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed the way we celebrate the holidays. For many families struggling this year, sharing a traditional Thanksgiving meal may also not be possible; however, no crisis can change Brooklyn’s deep commitment to help families and our neighbors during the holidays. We will always be there for them. I am proud to partner with a coalition of elected officials, community groups, and volunteers to ensure no turkey is missing at any table during this Thanksgiving,” says Council Member Menchaca.
District Attorney Gonzalez says, “I am so grateful to the volunteers, to NYU Langone, and to elected officials who came together to provide turkeys and supplies to our friends and neighbors. With too many Brooklynites facing economic hardship and food insecurity this year, it is more important than ever to support each other and to help those in need, so we can all have a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. I wish residents across Brooklyn a peaceful, joyous, and safe holiday.”
COVID-19 Pandemic Worsens Food Insecurity
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has led to crushing levels of unemployment and has left many families concerned about how they will provide their next meal.
Over the past 8 months, The Table has seen a more than 700 percent increase in the number of people seeking food assistance. The Table now serves well over 5,000 individuals each month.
“Adequate food is essential to keeping our community healthy and resilient in these turbulent times,” says Kathy Hopkins, vice president of community programs at the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone. “Through modified service delivery, The Table has remained open through the crisis, distributing bags of groceries following safe social distancing protocols.”
Resources available at The Table include fresh food items and information about SNAP food stamps, as well as information about other services offered by Family Health Centers at NYU Langone, including supportive counseling, domestic violence and crisis intervention, childcare, legal services, English language education, workforce development, and housing assistance.
The Impact of Food Insecurity on Health
While New York is one of the most affluent cities in the world, some borough communities continue to struggle with a lack of food and access to education, as well as many other nonmedical factors that significantly impact quality of life and health. For example, lack of access to nutrient-rich food and excessive consumption of sugary beverages contribute to obesity and diabetes.
Addressing food insecurity and other social determinants of health has the potential to improve patient and population health, as well as decrease healthcare costs.
Connecting with The Table Food Pantry
Client appointments to reserve a pack of groceries from The Table, can be made using the Plentiful app or by calling 718-630-7186. Please be aware that appointments are in high demand.
Third parties interesting in donating food items also can call 718-630-7186. Learn more about making a financial contribution to support The Table Food Pantry.
Long-term sponsors of The Table include City Harvest, United Way of New York City, the New York City Human Resources Administration, the New York State Department of Health’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program, Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Sands Family Foundation, Brooklyn Grange, and Driscoll Foods.
Deborah “DJ” Haffeman