LSA’s Advocacy and Food Pantry Program was awarded a ‘Borough Excellence Award’ by Food Bank for NYC
New York, NY – February 7, 2017 – LSA was presented the Borough Excellence Award at the Food Bank for NYC’s Conference on Hunger and Poverty on February 7, 2017 at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. The award distinguished LSA’s food pantry as among the best in the entire borough of Manhattan.
The food pantry at LSA Family Health Service is part of the Advocacy and Food Pantry program. It feeds, on average, 1,900 individuals a month in a grocery store style, client-choice pantry. The demographic served by the pantry is the primarily immigrant, low-income community of East Harlem, which has been marked for decades as having among the poorest health outcomes for children in New York City, including having among the highest rates of asthma, childhood obesity, and infant mortality.
Providing healthy food options is an important aspect of the pantry. It offers fresh locally farmed produce during the growing season, through United Way of NYC and Just Food’s Local Produce Link program. It has also received fresh produce from Grow NYC and even a local community garden. Cooking demonstrations throughout the year show families how to cook with the vegetables being offered in the pantry. And a Community CookShop class – in partnership with Food Bank for NYC and the Mario Batali Foundation – teaches families how to shop for and cook healthy meals on a limited budget.
The Advocacy program serves as a primary entry point for LSA’s family support services. In 2016, the program’s five staff members facilitated 6,863 client visits for food and 7,642 client visits for services. These included one-on-one meetings with families to understand and address their needs. Key partnerships allow the Advocacy program to connect families with free legal help to prevent evictions and help enrolling in Medicaid. As a member of the ActionNYC initiative through the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, the agency has been doing extensive outreach throughout the city to connect immigrants with free legal support.
LSA is deeply honored for the recognition of the Borough Excellence Award.