Ford Donation of Transit Connect Van Central to ‘Partners on the Go’ Initiative
Ford Motor Company Fund and the Hispanic Federation launched a hunger relief initiative, Partners on the Go, today through the donation of 15,000 meals to the Southside United Housing Development Fund Corp’s (Los Sures) food pantry. The main goal of this anti-hunger effort is to raise awareness of food insecurity within Latino communities and implement a grassroots hunger relief action plan to help alleviate it.
A central component of the initiative is Ford’s donation of a Transit Connect van to the Hispanic Federation. This small cargo van, ideal for urban settings like New York City, will provide the Federation with greater mobility and support for food pantries throughout the five boroughs and to serve the growing needs of its nearly 100 member agencies.
According to the Food Bank NYC, two out of five (43 percent) Hispanic residents experienced difficulty affording necessary food in 2010. A recent USDA survey found that rates of food insecurity were substantially higher than the national average (14.7 percent) for Hispanic households, with 26.9 percent reporting food insecurity.
Following the announcement, more than 50 families received food made possible by a monetary donation from Ford Fund. Los Sures Food Pantry provides year-round support to some of the most vulnerable families in New York City.
“We are so grateful for Ford’s food donation, which will allow us to provide much needed meals to the more than 450 families who rely on our food pantry monthly,” said Robin Sirota Bassin, Social Service Director, Los Sures. “This donation is particularly important because our pantry shelves are literally almost bare during these tough economic times when funding is not secure.”
Through the Partners on the Go initiative, Ford and the Hispanic Federation will organize a food drive at the Hispanic Federation’s Get Up Get Moving Health Fair in August and a series of food collection activities leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. The Transit Connect Van will travel to different locations in the five New York City Boroughs to collect food for the Hispanic Federation member agencies who manage food pantries.
The Hispanic Federation member agencies who will receive the food donations are the Coalition for Hispanic Family Services; Comunilife, Inc.; Community Association of Progressive Dominicans (A.C.D.P.); Davidson Community Center; Institute for Puerto Rican/Hispanic Elderly; Puerto Rican Family Institute; Los Sures; and Spanish Speaking Elderly Council (R.A.I.C.E.S.)
Ford has a long history of supporting initiatives that help fight hunger. An ongoing relationship with Feeding America and Newman’s Own to support the Partnership for Hunger Relief has delivered more than 78 million meals to people in hard-to-reach communities. Ford also launched the Ford Mobile Pantries program to help social service organizations pick up and distribute food to those in need. Ford Transit Connect Vans are now used in South Florida, Atlanta, Detroit, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Nashville and for Red Cross deliveries in Nashville and San Diego.
For more information on “Partners on the Go” and the Hispanic Federation’s hunger efforts, please visit www.hispanicfederation.org.