Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City FC staff and young leaders have helped marginalised communities in New York City overcome the difficulties they face in accessing healthy, fresh and affordable food.
For those most in need in South Bronx, this systemic challenge was significantly exacerbated by the Coronavirus crisis, but, thanks to a collaborative project between NYCFC’s City in the Community (CITC) and New York Common Pantry (NYCP), at risk families have received vital support.
With NYCP providing food from their farm share programme, they have worked with CITC to offer education on healthy eating to the families of young people from their programmes, whilst Young Leaders have supported the distribution of food.
Darwin Ordoñez is a former Young Leader turned CITC Community Coach who donated his time to a foodbank.
“The volunteers were amazing and knowing they are putting a lot of time and effort into a cause like that made me grateful there are people like that looking after us,” he said.
“It is important to look after one another and I feel it’s something people should do more often because when things got bad it was up to us to come together and push through the hardships.
“Once I was finished working with New York Common Pantry, I applied everything I learned from the people there to my own personal life and when I went out to coach.
“Everything happens for a reason and I’m glad I took every opportunity to better myself and those around me.”
Darwin combined volunteering with his coaching for CITC, giving up his free time after work to help pack items at the foodbank.
He found it to be an extremely rewarding experience, which reinforced to him the value of supporting your community.
“Something I always loved when I was providing food to people in the South Bronx was the smiles on people’s faces once they received their food,” he added.
“You never know how much a person has struggled behind the scenes, especially because of COVID-19. I was a person who suffered a lot mentally during lockdown but being out there and helping others was closure for me.
“I’ve also met people who have been working for New York Common Pantry for many years and seeing how passionate they are, taught me the importance of giving back to my community.”
To learn more visit: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/cityzens-giving-for-recovery-new-york/