Hunger during pandemic is real and here in Pelham: This is what you can do to help


Projected rate of food insecurity by state in 2020

New Yorkers are bracing themselves as the one year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic arrives. Due to the shared struggle of all civilians, Pelham has come together in fantastic ways such as hanging rainbows in windows to spread hope, holding online concerts, making signs to thank essential workers, and supporting small businesses. These are without a doubt great ways to engage with the community and spread reliance, but there is one more thing we need to do: acknowledge hunger.

Food insecurity is a long-standing issue in the United States, and it will continue in all 50 states in 2021. According to Feeding America, New York is expecting hunger rates of 11-17% in the general population due to the economic burden of this virus.

Fig. 1 Projected Rate of Food Insecurity in 2020 by State

Children are especially vulnerable to hunger, with an expected rate of 24-30%, nearly one in three children.

Fig. 2 Projected Rate of Food Insecurity Among Children by State

However, even in a small town like Pelham, there ways to get involved.

Hope Soup Kitchen is one way to help. In New Rochelle, Hope Soup aims to help families in need and runs on donations from the community. They are currently in need of tuna, cereal, peanut butter, and meal-in-a-can. Additionally, donations of non-perishables, new toys, gloves, socks, and gently used coats are accepted. One can also mail in a contribution form (not cash) to Hope Community Services: 50 Washington Ave New Rochelle, NY 10801. There are volunteer opportunities as well such as serving dinner and passing out pantry bags.

County Harvest is another organization that serves Westchester. With no paid employees or office/warehouse space, every single donation will help go to those in need. One can PayPal county harvest directly here or mail in a check here: County Harvest, Inc. P.O. Box 8367, Pelham, NY 10803. One can also organize food drives and volunteer by signing up.

Last but not least, Feeding Westchester is a fantastic opportunity. Volunteer options are flexible such as assembling food bags from the comfort of home, corporate volunteering with co-workers, and donating while shopping at participating stores. One can also donate non-perishables (please no frozen, refrigerated, or glass items) to200 Clearbrook Road in Elmsford, NY.