A Field Trip with our Food Bank Seniors

July 18, 2023  |  by Ashley Faber   |  

Last month, Food Bank For New York City hosted an immersive field trip to the African Burial Ground for members of our senior center in West Harlem. This cultural excursion is one of the many activities offered to adults ages 60 and above who participate in Food Bank's senior programs. 

To kick off the guided tour, seniors watched a short film about the origins of the historical burial ground. Attendees learned that it was formerly covered by debris before being rediscovered by archeologists, who uncovered the skeletal remains of formerly enslaved people.  Early activists protested plans for construction on top of the grounds because of its cultural significance to the African American community. As a result, everything was preserved, and New Yorkers can visit it to this day at the original site in Lower Manhattan. 


Afterward, our seniors toured the museum's various exhibits, which showcased preserved skeletal remains excavated from the burial grounds. Some also pushed a barrel up a ship ramp model in an interactive exhibit simulating one of many grueling tasks enslaved men were forced to do. Then, attendees went outside to see the memorial, and one of our seniors led everyone in a brief prayer, taking the moment to remember those buried on the grounds and express gratitude for opportunities they never had.  



Following the visit to the African Burial Ground, our seniors went to a nearby recording studio to listen to music in a soundproof booth. Everyone loved hearing the tunes and many started to dance in their chairs while listening.  

“It was so amazing to see everyone enjoying themselves so much. I couldn’t help but smile to see the seniors clapping in their chairs as we sat in the sound booth listening to music play,” said Anna Nickman, Food Bank For New York City’s summer social media intern. “Food Bank offers more than just food to their members and neighbors -- they offer unique and fun experiences in a supportive community.”  


Food Bank For New York City’s senior program is located at our Community Kitchen & Food Pantry in West Harlem. In addition to recreational programs and occasional field trips like this one, Food Bank provides meal service and pantry access on weekdays to seniors across the five boroughs, thanks in large part to our partnership with the New York City Department for the Aging. 


All photos provided by Anna Nickman. 

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