This year, Food Bank’s holiday campaign is “Bring a Plate to the Table.” For us, this phrase encapsulates everything we're about – making sure our neighbors have what they need to fill their tables with fresh, nutritious food for themselves and their families. While this is our mission all year long, it takes on new relevance during the holiday season, when an empty plate or missed meal can feel that much more isolating for those already struggling to make ends meet.
Think of the holiday dishes you love, the ones you make every year, the ones passed down over generations that become symbols of who you are and where you come from. Think of the memories connected to those dishes, how a single bite of pecan pie can bring you back to the first time you watched your grandmother make it in the family kitchen. How even in the years after she’s gone – when you are the one making the pie – that bite will remind you of how fiercely you were loved.
There is no price for a feeling like that and it is one that everyone deserves. Our tables aren’t just places where we eat meals; they are where we make our memories, where we come to laugh and cry and make sense of the world around us. The power of that is easy to take for granted when you’ve never gone without it, but one that is impossible not to miss when it vanishes in the blink of an eye.
“Bring a Plate to the Table,” then, is a call to you to help us restore that power for the estimated 1.6 million New Yorkers fighting to feed themselves and their families. It is a call to join us in nourishing that great communal table at which we all sit. As our President & CEO Leslie Gordon is fond of saying, “Rising tides float all boats.” The livelihood of one of us depends on all of us, and it is vital that we never lose sight of that.
So, how can you bring a plate to the table for our neighbors this holiday season? You can donate to our 40 Million Meals campaign, which seeks to provide 40 million meals to New Yorkers in need by year’s end. You can sign up for a volunteer shift in our Community Kitchen & Food Pantry, where you’ll help stock pantry shelves and pack meal bags for our neighbors in Harlem. You can also use your voice to urge lawmakers to advocate for policies that fight hunger across our city and state.
Simply put, there are several ways to give back – all you have to do is choose the one that’s right for you. We thank you in advance for powering our mission to feed and nourish ALL New Yorkers. We couldn’t do what we do without you.