Part of the solution; POTS; Belmont; Fordham; Bronx; Food pantry; Soup kitchen Hunger

Discussion in 'Economy' started by hvactec, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. hvactec

    hvactec VIP Member

    Jan 17, 2010
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    New Jersey
    Food insecurity

    Food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters represent the main emergency food programs in place to help the needs of the roughly 1.4 million hungry people living in New York City.
    Food pantries and soup kitchens try to fill an ever-growing need

    As a Hispanic woman slowly made her way into the food pantry with her shopping cart on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in mid-September, the receptionist called after her: “You have to come in the morning, señora, mor-ning,” she said. “We are only open before midday, and the first time you come you have to bring a proof of address and documents of all your family members.”

    The Hispanic woman, noticeably disoriented and put off by the news, wasn’t listening anymore. “You don’t understand!” she shouted, using the little English she could speak, “I need food, you don’t understand, I’m here to get the food.”

    Food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters represent the main emergency food programs in place to help the needs of the roughly 1.4 million hungry people living in New York City. According to the data provided on its website, the Food Bank for New York City helps one in five New Yorkers get food on the table every day. In 2010, almost two-thirds, or 64 percent, of the people visiting food pantries were women, and almost three-quarters of households with children experienced difficulties in affording the food they need.

    However, the area of Belmont, in the Bronx, represents an exception.

    Its streets buzzing with chatter and laughter from cafes and restaurants where people can sit outside enjoying the sun, residents of Belmont appear to have a higher standard of living then the rest of the borough. Talking in her office on Arthur Avenue, Ivine Galarza, district manager of Bronx Community Board #6, said the historically Italian neighborhood is in a renaissance, even though it is part of a district, together with Bathgate, Fordham, East Tremont, Bronx Park South and West Farms, which “is the poorest in the country”, according to Galarza. “I hear that every single day of my life.”

    The most important Catholic church in Belmont, Our Lady of Mount Carmel on 187th street, attracts the majority of Mexicans and Hispanics who live in the area. Most of them work in restaurants and cafes in Little Italy, but are not able to afford the food served in those places for themselves, Galarza said. According to Father Rapaglia, the church’s priest, although the Catholic Church is the second largest provider of social services in the nation, second only to the U.S. government, it is not able to provide Mount Carmel with the necessary quantity of food to distribute to the community on a regular basis. The church, therefore, does what it can to help out the residents on a case-by-case basis, but the donations do not ensure a permanent soup kitchen.

    Part Of The Solution (POTS) is the biggest service in the area, the only organization providing both a food pantry and a soup kitchen, and open at fixed times every week. According to Kimberly Roginski, volunteer and development coordinator at POTS, the other food pantries and soup kitchens in the area, mainly run by churches, are too small to have their services running regularly and can’t handle the large influx of people. “We serve everyone,” Roginski reported, “no matter who they are or where they come from.” Founded in 1982 as a private non-profit organization, POTS not only helps the hungry, but provides a whole array of social services. Roginski listed a number of them: case management, legal help to fight evictions, and application assistance and legal representation for public benefits like food stamps and social security. Furthermore, she added, “People can get their mail delivered here, get new clothes, and even a haircut.”

    read more Part of the Solution | Uptown Chronicle
  2. waltky

    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2011
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    Okolona, KY
    Granny says it's a distribution problem, not a production problem...
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