Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Food Truck for the Hungry

Truck gives out FREE meals


BRONX, NEW YORK, July 16- Chancellor Dennis M.
Walcott, joined by federal and city agencies and non-profit organizations,
encouraged families to take advantage of free breakfast and lunch for their
youngsters as part of the annual summer meals program that runs through August

Summer meals are provided in more than 1,000
locations, including pools, parks, public housing sites and soup kitchens
throughout the five boroughs. In addition to these locations, the Department of
Education (DOE) is operating mobile refrigerated trucks that provide meals to
children at Orchard Beach in the Bronx and at Flushing Meadows Park. There are
currently two trucks and the DOE is adding a third one to serve meals to
youngsters at Queens Farm Park, starting Monday, July 23.

Last year, more than 7 million meals were served
during the summer, including 67,000 meals served by the trucks, which is more
meals than some states served for their entire summer program. To help promote
summer meals, Share Our Strength, a national non-profit that focuses on
eliminating childhood hunger, is providing text messaging capabilities and has
produced postcards and flyers that are being distributed throughout the City
through food advocates, community-based organizations City agencies and the DOE
to alert families of the summer meals program.

 “We want all
families with children, no matter their residency, to have one of our
nutritious meals free of charge. In an effort to make the summer meals even
more accessible and convenient, we will be operating three refrigerated food
trucks that will serve meals to youngsters,” Chancellor Walcott said. “We are
reaching out to families through posters and flyers, thanks to the efforts of
the USDA, Share Our Strength, the Mayor’s Food Policy Coordinator and the
Office of SchoolFood.”

Chancellor Walcott made his comments at a press
conference today at Orchard Beach, next to one of the refrigerated trucks. He
was joined by USDA Regional Administrator James Arena-DeRosa, Share Our
Strength No Kid Hungry NY Director Megan Cryan, Mayor’s Food Policy Coordinator
Kimberly Kessler, Deputy Chancellor of Operations Kathleen Grimm, Council
member James Vacca, and several non-profit organizations.

 “No child
should go hungry. The USDA Summer Food Service Program provides free nutritious
meals to children when the school doors close,” said USDA Regional
Administrator James Arena-DeRosa. “Children need good nutrition all year long,
so grab a healthy lunch at a summer site near you.”

“The summer meals program is a great way to make
sure that kids who get free lunch during the school year can also get the
nutrition they need when school is out,” said Bill Shore, founder and CEO of
Share Our Strength. “We are thrilled to be partnering with the NYC Department
of Education to ensure that every child in New York who needs something to eat
can get something to eat.”

 “Children who
eat regular, nutritious meals have more time and energy to focus on doing what
they do best: learning,” said City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.
“Fighting hunger is a key component of academic success. Through summer meals,
the city maintains our commitment to fighting hunger year round. I hope
families will take advantage of this terrific program.”

 “This year,
we have brought together many city agencies and nonprofit partners to help
ensure that families are aware of this important program,” said Kimberly
Kessler, the Mayor’s food policy coordinator. “I am grateful to these partners
for their terrific efforts in getting the word out and look forward to
continuing to work together.”

 “The summer
meals program is a wonderful opportunity for young children to receive free
meals at over 1,000 schools, pools, parks and other great places in the city
while they enjoy their summer vacation,” Councilman James Vacca said. “Just
like during the school year, it’s absolutely vital that we continue to offer
these free and nutritious meals to these youngsters during the months that they
are not in school. Making sure our kids eat healthy year-round is something
that we should all take seriously.”

For a location and meal hours, parents can call 311,
log onto the DOE at www.opt-osfns.org/schoolfood/public1/default.aspx, visit
Share Our Strength’s website at www.strength.org, or NYCFood at
www.nyc.gov/nycfood. Parents also may text “nycmeals” to 877877, or visit the
Parks Department website for locations at parks and pools.

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(Assemblyman Jose Rivera's opponent was listed as a candidate on the Rivera petition)

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