The Center for Family Life Food Pantry, 443 39th St., is asking locals to help them support people in need during the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
According to CFL, 31 percent of Sunset Park households experienced food insecurity before the pandemic and the neighborhood has been hit especially hard by the struggling economy caused by the virus. A quarter of Sunset Park residents work in industries where layoffs have been most prevalent, such as restaurants, hotels, retail and personal care services.
The pandemic also resulted in the closing of CFL’s afterschool programs, which once provided more than 1,500 dinners per day.
“The crisis of COVID-19 has, like a tornado, torn away any concealing branches and laid bare the unequal conditions in which our community lives, loves, and labors,” the CFL stated. “Just like a powerful storm it has also exposed the inadequacies in our infrastructures of support and the ways in which those deficits most directly affect working class immigrant communities and communities of color more broadly.”
CFL has been in existence for 40 years.
The pantry has a staff of three people on-site. It distributes more than 10,000 meals a week. Last year, the CFL distributed about 100,000 in total.
“We are working day and night to adapt to these rapidly shifting circumstances and be a hub for community, care, sustainment, and dialogue,” the CFL said. “In our case at the pantry this has meant trying to eradicate all barriers to entry, increasing our volume of service nearly five-fold, expanding our hours of operation, and adding new ad-hoc modes of engagement for the pandemic such as delivery for those who are housebound or self-quarantined.”
Local eateries, such as Sahadi’s, which has a location at Industry CIty, have donated goods.