More than 200 volunteers at Food Bank For New York City will descend upon Harlem Monday for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, prepped to serve one of the most food-insecure neighborhoods in the city.
Volunteers will deliver more than 1,500 cooked meals to neighborhood organizations, food pantries and homebound seniors in need. They will also visit businesses in the area and enroll eligible applicants in SNAP benefits.
“We’re the orange army,” said Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of the Food Bank. “MLK Day really marks the start of the service calendar and it just gives every person an opportunity to swim in the mission.”
Last year the Food Bank built a food kitchen in Hunts Point, where the organization’s warehouse is. In Harlem, the most food insecure area in Manhattan, Food Bank has a community kitchen and pantry.
“It’s January and we always want to be able to get new Yorkers to remember ... you should have service on your list of great habits as well,” Purvis said. “It’s not just about the holidays. We need people every day, charities need their neighbors in order to function.”
And there will even be a few surprises for people getting off the subway in Harlem Monday (think: a delicious drink).
“We’re going to blow their minds on Monday,” she said.