Food insecurity is a pressing issue in New York City, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The impact has been particularly severe on low-income communities, including justice-involved individuals who face significant barriers to food access. The Fortune Society actively works to address this issue through its Food and Nutrition Services. Last week, Fortune celebrated the grand opening of the Fortune Fresh Food Pantry as a crucial step in combating food insecurity in the Bronx.
The statistics paint a stark picture of the hunger crisis in New York City. Nearly 1.5 million New Yorkers, including 1 in 4 children, face food insecurity, with visits to food pantries and soup kitchens increasing by 69% between 2019 and 2022.
In response to the growing need for shelf-stable food among Fortune’s participant population, the organization has launched Fortune Fresh Food Pantry. This client-choice food pantry will initially serve participants in the Supervised Release Program (SRP).
At this newly opened food pantry, SRP participants will have regular access to pantry staples, such as flour, pasta and canned goods, as well as eggs and some fresh produce.
During the opening, SRP participants, as well as residents of the nearby Mandaela Community and Freedom House II transitional housing, arrived with carts and bags to receive a bag of some pantry staples, as well as two bags of fresh produce.
The food pantry will be open once weekly, where participants will be able to choose what items they would like to take home with them. They will also have the option to pre-select what they would like for the week and have it ready for pickup.
As Fortune expands its Food and Nutrition Services with the Fortune Fresh Food Pantry, its impact on the Bronx community will only continue to grow, fostering healthier and more resilient individuals and neighborhoods. Participants and their families eagerly collected bags of food for their homes at the pantry’s opening, symbolizing the positive impact it will have on the community. Fortune hopes to further expand the knowledge and access to fresh food and resources and provide connection and community centered around food and nutrition.