Food insecurity has become a growing problem around the country, including in New York City. According to a report done by NPR, earlier this year, 1 in 4 residents was facing food insecurity in light of the COVID-19, or novel coronavirus, pandemic.” We’re dealing with an unprecedented crisis,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press briefing in May. “Before the coronavirus, we thought somewhere around a million people were food insecure and needed food. Now we think that number is 2 million or more.” This week, Korey Wise of the Exonerated Five hosted a food drive to help residents in need.
PIX 11 reported the famous Harlem resident, along with Harlem District Leader Keith Lilly, distributed over 700 boxes of groceries to residents in partnership with nonprofit organizations Robin Hood and the Migdol Family Foundation. Wise hosted the food drive at the King Towers Senior Center in Harlem. According to the Robin Hood Foundation,1 in 3 parents of small children say they are skipping or reducing their meals to have enough to feed their children. In a Poverty Tracker study, 30% of residents reported having trouble securing enough food in light of the massive layoffs as a result of COVID-19.
Hundreds of residents came out for the event, including senior citizens and families looking for some extra help during these challenging times. “We need extra food. We are on food stamps. We just don’t get enough assistance,” said Odetta Clark, a local senior who received a box from the food drive to PIX 11. District Leader Lilly says that they are among some of the hardest hit by the viral outbreak. “Folks are struggling, especially our seniors,” he said.
“I hope it ends soon,” said Wise to PIX 11. Both organizers said that they plan on hosting more of these food drives, hoping that things start to turnaround soon for residents in Harlem.