A city-wide grassroots, volunteer effort called In It Together NYC, is tackling food insecurity to ensure New Yorkers don’t go hungry during COVID-19 pandemic. In It Together NYC was launched in March and is an initiative started by Lemontree, a non-profit founded by Alex Godin that sells affordable dinners to families. In It Together NYC has partnered with over 60 food pantries citywide and signed up over 4,000 volunteers to support them.
“When COVID19 interrupted our services, we needed to figure out a way to continue having an impact in the area of food insecurity, ” Kasumi Quinlan, public relations and social media director for In It Together NYC told the Bushwick Daily. “The volunteer base for food pantries & soup kitchens tend to be older, retired folks who now need to stay home [and when social distancing measures were enacted] many people didn’t realize that volunteers for food banks are considered essential workers (just like employees at a grocery store).” In It Together NYC finds and matches willing volunteers to opportunities near them by notifying them about open shifts at food pantries that need assistance.
“We’re able to quickly mobilize our volunteers and support small organizations that might close without the much-needed volunteer labor,” Quinlan said. The past month, In It Together NYC has experienced 600% growth in the number of volunteers and last week they sent 505 New Yorkers to food pantries across the city. Volunteers for In It Together NYC such as Darren have been regarded as heroes for their service for doing wholesome things like delivering groceries to Holocaust survivors when he volunteered for the Met Council in April.
Cover Photo from In it Together NYC
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