To meet an unprecedented demand for resources to address food insecurity, Council Member Margaret Chin has partnered with local nonprofits UA3 and Chung Pak LDC to cover hard-to-reach buildings in Chinatown and the Lower East Side.
Since the PAUSE order took effect, residents have faced numerous barriers to safely access affordable and reliable food supply. While the City has rolled out new emergency food measures such as the grab-and-go program in Department of Education facilities, the senior center direct meal delivery program, and the GetFoodNYC delivery program, historically under-resourced communities continue to face significant barriers to food access, especially low-income seniors in Chinatown and Lower East Side tenement buildings with limited English proficiency. To reach this vulnerable hard-to-reach constituency, Council Member Chin partnered with UA3 and Chung Pak LDC on an emergency food pantry initiative. Volunteers pack donations from Trader Joe’s and other food supply businesses in unused restaurant space owned by Chung Pak LDC. Over the past week, the emergency food team delivered groceries to 88 senior households in Chung Pak; CPC Open Door Senior Center, one of the biggest senior centers in Lower Manhattan; the Bowery Mission; Grand Street Guild; and multiple tenement buildings in Chinatown. Today, staff from Council Member Chin’s office and volunteers delivered packages to 174 and 184 Forsyth St., buildings that predominantly house hearing-impaired tenants. The team delivers an average of 250 packages per day, twice a week.
“During this state of emergency, our local community groups have been rising to the challenge to combat food insecurity. That’s because they know the neighbors they serve, can speak their languages, and have developed the necessary trust and relationships to reach hard-to-reach residents where they are. This is a herculean feat, and I am proud to work with UA3, Chung Pak, and District 1 tenant leaders to take this on,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “The fact that so many of the buildings we’re serving are hard-to-access shows exactly why we must invest our attention and resources to them. I send my heartfelt appreciation to all the community organizations, donors, and volunteers who have made this initiative possible. Together, we’re doing our part to fill the gaps in food access to ensure no one is left behind.”
“So many have had to say goodbye to loved ones due to COVID-19. We’re here to help the working poor, the families affected by job loss and the first responders who risk their lives every day to take care of us. I want to especially thank Council Member Margaret Chin, Lower Manhattan Friends, The Manor Community Church Food Pantry, the Chung Pak team, and my colleagues at UA3. We’re stronger together, and together we will win!” said UA3 President Donald Hong. “Chung Pak (Everlasting Pine) Senior Housing Project’s 100+ elderly residents are mostly over 80 years-old and are among the most vulnerable people in our community. This COVID-19 pandemic is making it dangerous and almost impossible for our low-income seniors and our critical home attendant and essential frontline caregivers to access vitally needed fresh foods – while maintaining safe distancing at the few open supermarkets,” said Chung Pak LDC Executive Director Charles Lai. “We are humbled and excited to partner with UA3, Pastor Bill, CM Chin, and Trader Joe’s to be able to provide fresh foods to our seniors and to the needy members of our community. The spirit, care and passion of our partners are absolutely inspirational. It gives us great hope that together, we’ll overcome this challenge and further strengthen our community.” Council Member Chin’s office will continue to work with tenant leaders to coordinate meal deliveries and help enroll eligible residents on City meal programs. Please contact our office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to organize a delivery for your building in Council District 1.