WhyHunger teams up with urban farms to distribute fresh food to Bronx communities

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — As the need for emergency food continues to grow in New York City amid the pandemic, urban farms are stepping in to help.

The South Bronx Food Hub Collective, a group of four urban farms in the borough, recently teamed up with WhyHunger to distribute produce and meals to Bronx residents.

Frances Perez, the manager of La Finca Del Sur Community Farm located right next to the Major Deegan Expressway, says the initiative is helping to get fresh ingredients to those in need.

“We have a lot of greens, we have a lot of herbs, a lot of fruits like eggplant, tomato, peppers, things like that – squash, melons,” she explains.

While the farm handles the produce, WhyHunger handles the distribution.

Noreen Springstead, executive director of the non-profit, says food insecurity has always been an issue in America, but the pandemic has only worsened it.

“The pandemic has illuminated how vulnerable people are,” she said.

Perez agrees, saying food insecurity has always been prevalent in the Bronx.

“Our folks are vulnerable, our communities were vulnerable prior to the pandemic, so now we’re seeing our people being hit extra hard,” she explains.

She says the donations are also helping people who may not be able to get groceries on a regular basis due to the risks of contracting COVID-19.

Springstead is encouraging people to help where they can, noting that food banks across the country are in need of donations.

“Our food pantry and food bank partners, many are seeing a 60% increase,” she said.