Essential workers honored for providing food to families in need during pandemic
Essential workers in the Bronx were honored today at the New York Botanical Garden for their efforts to keep New Yorkers healthy throughout the pandemic.
Organizers of the ceremony say with all of the heartache documented over the last two years of the pandemic, it’s important to also remember the heroes among us who helped many get through it.
Food insecurity was already a problem in the U.S. before COVID. In 2019, more than 35 million people, including 11 million children, reported that their households could not afford enough food to eat, according to the nonprofit Feeding America.
Once the pandemic set in, those numbers worsened. Last year, 42 million people experienced food insecurity.
That’s why City Council Member Rafael Salamanca says he wanted to honor Lincoln Hospital and Urban Health Plan as well as five food pantries — Baldor Specialty Foods, D'Arrigo, Hunts Point Produce Market and the NYBG — for their work in the South Bronx.
Salamanca says the groups fed more than 60,000 New Yorkers at a time when affordable, healthy food at the supermarket was hard to come by. Recipients who were honored say times of trouble are when the community must come together the most.
Mayor Eric Adams spoke at the ceremony as the keynote speaker. He said the work to make sure that no New Yorker goes hungry is not finished.