Food Bank for NYC thankful to give Thanksgiving treats

Food Bank for NYC kicked off its Thankful to Give campaign on Monday, November 17, by distributing Thanksgiving turkeys and other trimmings to Coney Island residents affected by Hurricane Sandy.

In partnership with The River Fund, an organization geared toward fighting hunger, homelessness and poverty in neighborhoods across the city, Food Bank was able to distribute 350 turkeys and other extras to families in Coney Island still recovering from the Superstorm.

“We’ve been partners with the Food Bank for many years,” said Otto Starzmann, chief production officer of River Fund New York. “We are one of four agencies that assist the Food Bank in the Sandy-affected flood zones.”

In partnering with those other agencies, Food Bank will be able to distribute a total of 1,350 turkeys to those living in Sandy-affected areas.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” said Coney Island resident Roberto Aviles, noting, “It’s helping a lot and there is a lot of food for a lot of people here that are in need.”

In fact, Dr. Camesha Grant, senior director for member services with the Food Bank, said there was an “overwhelming turnout.

“We provided 350 coupons in advance of today’s event,” said Grant. “People started to show up as early as 7 a.m. to receive a free turkey as well as a box of trimmings which will allow them to create a full Thanksgiving meal.”

Coney Island native Shanna McMurren said that she learned about the program through a friend.

“[My friend] informed me about this so I came out and got the ticket for the turkey and they’re also giving out tickets for the [other] food and it’s a big help,” said McMurren. “It’s good for the neighborhood. It’s really helpful to a lot of families. I know it’s helpful to me.”

Grant said that for the amount of people that turned out for the event, things were going smoothly. “We have a very orderly line and we have a ton of volunteers here today who are very supportive,” she said.

According to its website, Food Bank for NYC “has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs for more than 30 years.”

For more information about Food Bank NYC and The River Fund, visit and


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