Food Totes Distributed to Supportive Housing Families
At S:US, we believe food is a basic human right. We are deeply committed to ensuring that the New Yorkers we serve have access to fresh, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food that they need and deserve. Food insecurity is skyrocketing—we see it among the people we serve, the communities we are in, and even among some of our staff. In response to the needs of the people we serve, S:US staff and people supported with disabilities organized emergency food distribution this summer. The food tote distribution initiative provides families with better access to fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer to supplement and help support children who are out of school by providing bi-weekly deliveries to families through the end of September.
The people we support with developmental/intellectual disabilities are the stewards of the food totes. They collect and pack fresh produce from local farms and distribute it to families at our supportive housing. The stewards learn transferable vocational and social skills as well as gain confidence when seeking employment opportunities. They also enjoy these experiences and feel good giving back to their community.
We invite you to learn more about our food security programs. In April, we developed a Food Security White Paper on the complexities of food insecurity, highlight innovations and best practices in food justice, and call for collective action to eradicate food insecurity in our communities. Last year, our Urban Farms grew more than 9,100 pounds of fresh produce, which is equivalent to more than 7,500 meals, with an estimated market value of $45,000. We have 70+ growing spaces in Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and the Bronx, including eight community farms. We also launched three community fridges in Brooklyn and Bronx communities where we work and live.
We will expand our community food security program to respond to the increasing need and further support and give back to our communities. A fourth community fridge will open in the fall.