First Pool Report from the Mayor's Visit to The Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in West Harlem

January 20, 2014

Pool report #1 – Verena Dobnik, Associated Press – 1:18 PM:

In Harlem, the mayor and first lady Chirlane McCray joined a small assembly line of mostly volunteers putting together meals for the hungry at The Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in West Harlem run by New York's Food Bank, one of the nation's largest hunger-relief organizations.

"You're making a big impact in people's lives," he told a group of Girls Scouts from Troop 2260 in Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant.

De Blasio and McCray stood side by side next to the children, plus a handful of adult volunteers, stuffing complete meals from boxes into brown paper bags that will be distributed later to New Yorkers in need: ham-and-cheese sandwiches, juice, chips, cookies and a few other items. 

"This is the day when we think about the meaning of Dr. King and what I think is so important, never to see his teachings as something in the past, or something that's just a part of history in a museum - but to live them," the mayor said. "They were meant to be lived."

According to the Food Bank, 2.6 million New Yorkers face difficulty feeding themselves -- a number that is rising as food supplies drop and food costs rise.

The Food Bank distributes about 400,000 free meals each day.