I work for Food Bank For New York City and our demand has never been higher. Even though I’m living in the epicenter of the crisis I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones right now. Many people have lost their jobs or feel trapped while working from home but I have a job and I’m considered an essential worker so I wake every day knowing that what I’m doing will make a difference.
It frustrates me to no end that my organization has to exist for people to have enough food, but thank god we’re here as a safety net for the people who have never had to access a soup kitchen or food pantry before. I’ve heard some truly heartbreaking stories of pregnant women trapped at home with small children who don’t have diapers or formula and of seniors who haven’t eaten in three days. Thankfully, I work with actual superheroes who are packing meals, loading up trucks and making deliveries every single day.
I’ve had the honor of leading emergency food distributions at public housing facilities across the city. The idea of handing out food to 400 to 600 people raises some red flags when you’re told to avoid groups of more than 10 people — it’s scary, but it’s also humbling. People wait in line for hours and are so grateful for everything they receive. That gratitude gives me the strength to keep going because there are so many people who need help, and will need help for a long time after all this is said and done.
(Above, Brigid is pictured with Cory Coose ’12.)