YONKERS, NY — March 17, 2020 — Following the closure of local schools due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Feeding Westchester and The PepsiCo Foundation are providing meal kits and fresh produce to residents in need in the local Westchester area. Feeding Westchester will be distributing 500,000 pounds of food in total as part of this effort.
Meal kits and produce will be available at mobile pantries and drive-up sites with proper measures in place to ensure limited contact. The meal kits include shelf-stable items and can support a family for approximately 3 to 4 days. Small boxes with easy-to-open food will also be available to senior citizens.
On Monday, Feeding Westchester began distributing these meals and produce in New Rochelle, NY, on Monday, March 16 — one of the areas hit hardest by the crisis —and will today begin providing the same services to impacted neighbors in Ossining, Peekskill, North Salem and Mt. Vernon. Feeding Westchester is also continuing its regular distributions to partners and agencies.
Individual municipalities will alert their communities about the location of distribution sites. Local residents can find an agency in their area or view the Mobile Food Pantry schedule at feedingwestchester.org.
MetLife Foundation announced today that it is donating $200,000 to Feeding Westchester to help deal with increased demand for their services as a result of coronavirus.
Food banks face the challenge of getting shelf-stable food into people’s homes as quickly as possible, especially now that vulnerable populations such as the elderly have been advised to practice social distancing. In addition, food banks face greater need from families with children who no longer have access to meals at schools.
“We want to help those impacted by coronavirus,” said Mike Zarcone, head of Corporate Affairs for MetLife and Chairman of MetLife Foundation. “That includes the communities in New York where we work and live. We know that children out of school and seniors face food insecurity as a result of COVID-19, and we are committed to help.”
Feeding Westchester serves areas where COVID-19 has hit the hardest, including New Rochelle. The organization has requested funds to rent additional trucks, purchase fuel, purchase shelf-stable food, and move that food into homes across the county.
“Right now, half a million pounds of good, nutritious food is on its way to Feeding Westchester for our hungry neighbors throughout the county,” said Matthew Honeycutt, vice president of development for Feeding Westchester. “Before the height of the outbreak, we anticipated greater need during this very unique situation and mobilized additional resources, including from Feeding America and other partners. We are working hard to get food into people’s homes now.”