Pantry van struggling to feed community since delivery truck broke down

For the past 10 years, volunteers of the Albania and American Open Hand Association have been providing the Bronx with a fresh food pantry every Thursday morning.

News 12 Staff

Jan 20, 2023, 3:19 AM

Updated 510 days ago

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An organization fighting food insecurity in the Bronx says they’ve been forced to provide less since Christmas when their delivery truck broke down.  
For the past 10 years, volunteers of the Albania and American Open Hand Association have been providing the Bronx with a fresh food pantry every Thursday morning.  
They say that over 300 residents line up for food every Thursday, but now the van is struggling to supply enough food for those in need. A van that the nonprofit relied on to collect donations broke down last month, and since then, volunteers have been using their own cars to pick up produce.  
“Since Christmas, we have very little food to give out,” said Aleks Nilaj, founder of the Albanian and American Open Hand Association. “If you have a small car, there’s a limit to how much of this you can put in your car.” 
Nilaj says he collects enough money every so often to rent a U-Haul truck, but it still isn’t enough to pay the $8,000 he says they need to repair their own van.  
A report by the New York State Comptroller revealed that in 2021, 24.4% of Bronx residents were below the poverty level. Nilaj is worried that without a vehicle to deliver them food, some of them will go hungry. 


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