Emergency Fresh Food Box Newsletter
July 13th, 2020 - July 16th, 2020
GrowNYC’s Emergency Fresh Food Box Update

This week we're excited to reach almost 307,000 meals delivered to community members throughout New York City. Thank you for letting GrowNYC's Emergency Fresh Food Box work with you. The impact of our partnership is enormous.
What's in the box this week?
Subject to change due to produce substitutes
2 lbs Onions
2 lbs Carrots
3 lbs Apples
5 lb Potatoes
2 Bell Peppers or 8 oz Mushrooms
2 Cucumbers
2 Green Squash
2 Yellow Squash or 3 Ears of Sweet Corn

Spotlight On CAMBA
Organization Spotlight: CAMBA

When Flatbush resident George Kotsopoulos described his first encounter with CAMBA , he tells a story of warmth and welcoming kindness. He talks about the way Lucila Vargas and Giavanna Wright, program heads of the organization's Beyond Hunger food pantry, warmly introduced him to everyone and gave a tour of the Snyder Ave facility in Brooklyn: "They welcomed me, talked me through what was available and how everything got there. I was able to hand out food that day. There's a certain eloquence and craftsmanship going on there."
CAMBA began its food assistance programming 32 years ago out of a single filing cabinet serving about 50 households per week. What started as a one-cabinet-operation, quickly became two, and its growth continued. Soon, the organization acquired its own space to address food insecurity and was able to dedicate more resources to the cause.

When COVID-19 sickened thousands of New Yorkers in March and April, few things remained stable, particularly the residents' access to nutritious, fresh produce. The neighborhoods comprising Flatlands/Flatbush area reported very high deaths from the virus, some of the highest in the city. In addition to the devastating impact of corona-virus in this community, the residents' access to healthy food tanked even lower than before COVID, increasing their food insecurity. While on site at an Emergency Fresh Food Box distribution, Senior Vice President Janet Miller said, “We could not continue to provide services knowing our members were hungry; we had to do something."

Their Current scale of food distribution ensures that around 1,200 households in this area receive food every Tuesday and Thursday. Working with partners like GrowNYC, NYS Department of Health, New York City Council, FoodBank, City Harvest, and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets  to bring food to this many community members, CAMBA operates at an intense level with many volunteers and tight scheduling. Still, volunteers, staffers, and residents alike form deep connections with one another.  “It’s like the oxygen mask theory,” said regular volunteer, George. "It’s vital that you service, protect, and feed your neighborhood first and expect that everyone else you know will do the same to keep the whole safe.”  

The leadership team at the organization expressed gratitude for the continuous outpouring of volunteers from In It Together NYC and members from the community that sought them out to offer help.

GrowNYC is proud to partner with such a deeply rooted organization, and we thank CAMBA for continuing to take on this collective, well-organized effort. 
Safety Tip of the Week
Having a Waste Plan
Will you be able to reuse, recycle, compost or dispose of all waste generated from distribution?

  • Encourage Emergency Fresh Food Box participants, if possible, to take cardboard boxes with them, break down the boxes, and recycle curbside with other paper/cardboard goods.
  • If participants leave cardboard boxes at distribution sites or at nearby neighborhood trash cans, collect, break down, and recycle on-site.
  • We encourage partners to reuse the pallets, donate to neighbors or nearby community gardens (if open), or save and return to our delivery drivers the following week.
More Resources
GrowNYC Greenmarkets
Throughout the five boroughs, New Yorkers can find fresh local products at our markets. SNAP/EBT, WIC and Senior FMNP coupons are accepted. For every $5 spent with SNAP, shoppers receive a $2 Health Bucks coupon to purchase additional fruits and vegetables. To find in-season markets near you, click the market link . And also check out our COVID-19 safety measures here .
GrowNYC Food Access Guide
We've put together a list of good food relief resources in our Food Access Guide. We update it periodically, so check it out regularly. Access the guide here .
Get Food
To find other New York City food access relief resources like Grab and Go meals or food pantries, click here .
We want to hear from you. Share your images and success stories with us at efb@grownyc.org.
GrowNYC’s emergency feeding program is made possible with the generous support of many valued partners including the City of New York, New York City Council, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, Bank of America, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, FJC, and our fellow New Yorkers. For a full list of supporters, please visit grownyc.org.

If you need additional support, visit nyc.gov/getfood to find services near you.