Stop and Shop earmarks turkeys for food banks

Assemblyman Marcos Crespo joined Food Bank For New York City’s Rachel Sabella and students from St. Thomas Aquinas School Nov. 17 to donate turkeys to Bronx food banks. The turkeys were donated by the Stop & Shop supermarket chain.
Arthur Cusano

Assemblyman Marcos Crespo visited the Stop & Shop Supermarket on East 174th Street last week to celebrate the store’s donation of 2,300 frozen turkeys to needy Bronx families.

A dozen fourth and fifth-graders from the nearby St. Thomas Aquinas School joined Crespo and representatives from Food Bank of New York on Thursday, November 17 as an 18-wheeler truck was loaded with holiday birds destined for five Bronx food pantries: Every Day Is A Miracle, Bronx Bethany Community Corporation, Heavenly Vision, Power Praise and Deliverance Inc., and Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development. The turkeys will be distributed through the holidays.

Crespo said he knew how important food was, as his own family struggled with poverty when he was growing up. He said the fight against hunger was ongoing.

“Food insecurity, hunger and poverty don’t care what color, nationality or race, ethnicity or religion you are,” Crespo said. “Whether you live in the city or upstate New York, it doesn’t care. It affects all of us.”

By no means are we going to solve hunger today with this donation, but what this does is two things that are very important:

The turkeys were donated by the Stop & Shop supermarket chain as part of their Turkey Express program, which delivers over 21,000 turkeys to charity programs across the northeast.

Crespo Credited Stop & Shop with being good neighbors and helping the community it profited from.

“We always talk about how our corporate citizens need to give back, and here is a company that is not only doing business in our community, not only providing goods and making profits, but is a partner that gives back,” he said.

Food Bank of New York’s Rachel Sabella said her organization provides approximately 14.8 million free meals per year to member charities and schools in the Bronx, which accounts for 24 percent of their citywide total.

That number still doesn’t compensate for the 46.8 million meals she said borough residents miss each year.

“Here in the Bronx we work with more than 150 programs throughout all corners of the Bronx,” Sabella said.

Sabella said Crespo had fought to get state aid for food banks in the New York state, which her organization was thankful for.

Approximately 18 percent of Bronx residents are food insecure, 14 percent higher than the overall city rate of 16 percent.

That number goes hand in hand with the higher-than-average unemployment and poverty rates in the borough.

“The work they do, day in and day out, to fight hunger, to fight poverty,” Crespo said. “It really makes a world of difference in our state.”

The food bank encourages residents to donate, advocate and volunteer in the community, and offers a list of ways to do so on their website, www.foodbanknyc.org.

“People can volunteer to repack meals or work at a soup kitchen, and obviously they can make food or monetary donations to programs,” she said.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com.

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