BRONX, NY – FreshDirect, in partnership with the City of New York and the five New York City Borough Presidents, today announced that “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive,” a citywide food initiative to help New York families in need and combat food insecurity in New York City, will continue through September 2020. This initiative has already distributed 4.3 million pounds of food to NYC neighbors in need, while creating nearly 40 full-time jobs.
In March, as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FreshDirect developed and launched “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive” in partnership with the five New York City Borough Presidents to help solve the increase in food insecurity in New York City. The unique collaboration allowed FreshDirect to donate and distribute over 215,000 boxes of food to New York City neighbors in need, with the Borough Presidents directing the donations to partner institutions in each of their communities.
The success of this important program has led the City of New York to commit to funding the program through September 2020, allowing more New Yorkers to be served as the pandemic continues. New York City has paid $5 million for these 4.3 million pounds of food thus far, and the extension through September will bring the total contract value to approximately $9 million. FreshDirect has accepted this commitment to purchase, package and deliver this much-needed aid at no profit to the company.
“Food insecurity in New York City has almost doubled since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis,” said David McInerney, CEO, FreshDirect. “There has never been a more important time to continue our ‘Operation 5-Borough Food Drive’ together with the city and the Borough Presidents. As a food company, we want to do everything we can to provide healthy, fresh food to those in need, especially during such a challenging time for so many.”
“During this crisis, our partnership with FreshDirect has been one of the key ways we’ve provided New Yorkers with access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” added Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, who oversees the FreshDirect partnership in her capacity as the City’s COVID-19 Food Czar. “This program has allowed the Borough Presidents to get nutritious food to people who need it across the city, and I’m glad we are able to support its continuation into the fall.”
“FreshDirect’s initial impulse to donate food in the earliest days of the crisis has evolved into their current contract to deliver hundreds of boxes of food as part of the GetFoodNYC programs,” stated Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Like so many others, they’ve literally been lifesavers during the pandemic.”
The program consists of weekly (Monday through Friday) deliveries of thousands of grocery boxes. The packages arrive by FreshDirect vehicles to locations designated by each of the Borough Presidents and their offices.
The offices of the respective Borough President or the partnering organizations will continue to manage all community outreach in consultation with FreshDirect Public Affairs. Most of the items in the box are shelf stable and will provide some relief to families who lack immediate access to food.
“We are so grateful to FreshDirect for their ongoing commitment during this challenging time. With our partners, Catholic Charities and Community Health Action, we are thankful for the opportunity to be able to continue to serve the hungry on Staten Island with nutritious meals while the need continues to increase,” said Staten Island Borough President James Oddo.
For more information on “Operation 5-Borough Food Drive,” please visit www.freshdirect.com/fooddrive.
FreshDirect is the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, delivering directly to customers throughout seven states, including the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia. FreshDirect is committed to sourcing the freshest and best-tasting meat, fish, produce, and specialty items through direct relationships with suppliers, growers, and farmers. Launched in 2002, FreshDirect is a privately held company headquartered in the Bronx, NY. Wines & Spirits are sold by FreshDirect Wines & Spirits, an independently owned store with NY State License #1277181.