For the Food Bank for Westchester’s most current Audited Financial Statement, click here.
For the Food Bank’s most current 990 Form, click here.
For the most current Annual Report, click here.
THE FOOD BANK MISSION is to lead, engage and educate the Westchester community in creating a hunger-free environment.
WHAT IS THE FOOD BANK? The Food Bank for Westchester is the core of the county’s emergency food distribution network.
It solicits, acquires, warehouses and distributes food to over 225 front-line hunger-relief programs throughout the county, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and adult, child-care and treatment centers.The Food Bank provides over 95% of all the food these front-line programs distribute to feed some or all of the estimated 200,000 Westchester children, seniors and their families who are hungry or at risk of hunger. The Food Bank receives an average of 102,000 requests for food every month.. The Food Bank distributes about 14 tons of food a day and nearly 7.5 million pounds of food a year. To date, the Food Bank has distributed over 100 million pounds of food to feed hungry Westchester residents.
HISTORY The Food Bank for Westchester was incorporated in 1988 as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization under the name Food PATCH (Food-People Allied To Combat Hunger, Inc.) to respond to the growing needs of hungry people in Westchester.
A room in the Sharing Community, Yonkers, was the headquarters; one man and a van were the staff and vehicle. In 1990, the Food Bank moved to a 10,000-sq.-ft. facility in Hawthorne. In 1993, the organization moved to a 15,000-sq.-ft. facility in Millwood. In 2000, the Food Bank distributed 4.5 million pounds of food and warehouse capacity was exceeded. In 2008, the name was changed to the Food Bank for Westchester. In 2011, the Food Bank distributed seven million pounds of food, yet demands for emergency food continued to rise. In 2012, the Food Bank moved to a 37,000-sq,-ft. facility in Elmsford to better meet demands for emergency food. In April 2013, Ellen Lynch took the helm as Executive Director.
FOOD BANK PROGRAMS
EMERGENCY FOOD DISTRIBUTION PROGRAM
- Collection, warehousing and distribution of food and grocery products donated by the food industry and the USDA and purchased by the Food Bank for Westchester in bulk quantities at the best prices.
- Food repacking of bulk foods into distributable quantities.
- Distribution of food -- about 14 tons a day -- to 230 frontline member programs throughout the county.
- Project Green Thumb - weekly distribution of fresh fruits & vegetables with an accompanying nutrition & recipe flier in English & Spanish.
- Food Recovery Program - collection of perishable and prepared foods from restaurants, grocery stores, and markets for distribution to local hunger-relief programs.
- Mobile Food Distribution Program – distribution of fresh foods directly to hungry people at various Westchester sites.
- BackPack Program -- weekend bags of nutritious food distributed to food-insecure children to take home.
- Kids Cafe -- after-school hot meal/nutrition program.
- Food Growing Program -- teaches at-risk populations to plant, grow and harvest vegetables; the seeds, seedlings, and farming expertise is provided by the Food Bank; the labor is provided by the participating program. The harvested produce is distributed by the Food Bank to hungry people.
- SNAP (Food Stamp) eligibility and application assistance for seniors, the homebound and non-English speakers.
TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO EMERGENCY FOOD NETWORK MEMBER PROGRAMS and AGENCIES:
- Nutrition, Food Safety and Sanitation
- Fund-raising, Agency Management, Administration
- "Just Say Yes" to Fruits and Vegetables nutrition program teaches healthy meal planning and food preparation.+
WHO WE HELP The Food Bank for Westchester estimates that 200,000 county residents are hungry or at risk of hunger. More than half of them are seniors; one-third are children under the age of 18. According to USDA’s 2010 report Household Food Insecurity in the United States, 12.4 % of New York residents are food insecure, meaning they lack consistent access to a nutritious well-balanced diet. Child hunger is critically high, with one in 4 children at risk of hunger.
The following Westchester County statistics are from a comprehensive national study conducted in 2009 by Feeding America, the national food bank network, and published in Hunger in America 2010:
FOOD-ASSISTANCE RECIPIENTS IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY
From Hunger in America 2010, a Feeding America Study conducted nationally
Local Statistics - food Bank for Westchester:
|Children under age 18 years
FOOD BANK MEMBER PROGRAMS The Food Bank provides food and technical assistance to over 220 qualified front-line hunger relief programs throughout Westchester. These include food pantries; soup kitchens; low-income daycare and adult-care centers; residential shelters; treatment facilities; and other direct-service programs. The majority of these programs are in lower Westchester and in Westchester’s cities -- Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Peekskill, White Plains, and Yonkers – and in the villages of Ossining and Port Chester. An additional 23 towns and villages throughout the county also have at least one program that is part of the Food Bank’s emergency food network. All Food Bank member programs must meet food-industry standards and food-safety guidelines. They are also required to provide monthly reports documenting the number of people served. Government Emergency Food Programs, such as USDA, which the Food Bank for Westchester administers, have additional criteria for participation in the Food Bank's food distribution system. Programs must distribute food to the ill, needy and/or infants and have proper facilities for storage, food handling and distribution. The Food Bank for Westchester and government agencies periodically monitor member programs to ensure compliance.
FOOD BANK STAFF The Food Bank for Westchester has 34 employees.
FOOD BANK BOARD OF DIRECTORS The Food Bank board consists of volunteers from business and the communtiy. See Board of Directors section for a listing of current board members.
FOOD BANK WAREHOUSE & VEHICLES The Food Bank for Westchester is centrally located in the county at 200 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, NY 10523. The 37,000-sq.-ft. facility includes a 32,000-sq-ft. warehouse with a 5,500-sq.-ft. freezer and a 2,500-sq- ft refrigerator. The Food Bank's three trucks, Kraft Mobile Food Pantry truck and one van enable food distribution.
WHO SUPPORTS THE FOOD BANK? The Food Bank relies on a generous network of volunteers, funders and food donors who give time, money and food to help fight hunger in Westchester.
CERTIFICATION & AFFILIATIONS The Food Bank for Westchester is a certified affiliate member of Feeding America, the National Food Bank Network. Feeding America membership requirements include maintaining food industry, federal and regional standards in all areas including food handling and warehouse sanitation, record-keeping, inventory control, financial accountability, and monitoring of recipient member programs. Food Bank for Westchester is inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture, the New York State Department of Agriculture, Feeding America and the Corporate Inspection Team recruited from the food industry. The Food Bank for Westchester is also a founding member of the Food Bank Association of New York State; it is a GuideStar Partner in Trust; and it is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity.
- Volunteers serve on the board of directors, help plan and conduct fund-raising events, hold food drives, repack bulk food and groceries in the warehouse, and conduct their own fundraising and awareness campaigns. Nearly 2,500 volunteers donate more than 14,000 volunteer hours each year so that others may eat.
- Funders include corporations, foundations, individuals, local organizations, and government -- large and small, local, national, and international. All help is needed and greatly appreciated. The Food Bank conducts two major fundraising events a year: "Take Heart Against Hunger," the Valentine's Day Wine-Tasting Dinner, and the October "An Evening in Good Taste To End Childhood Hunger."
- Food Donors include manufacturers, processors, distributors, retail and commercial enterprises.
HOW FOOD IS ACQUIRED The Food Bank acquires food and groceries through donation and purchase. Perishable and non-perishable foods are solicited and collected through donations from Feeding America, USDA, and local contributors, including food drives. Purchased food is acquired at discount rates in bulk quantities through a cooperative buying program. All food comes to the Food Bank warehouse where it is inspected and repacked into distributable quantities.
HOW FOOD IS DISTRIBUTED The Food Bank distributes food to Westchester food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, adult and childcare centers, and residential and treatment programs. The food is then distributed to hungry people in their own communities free-of-charge as groceries to take home or as cooked meals. The Food Bank for Westchester annually distributes over seven million pounds of food and groceries, helping to feed some or all of the 200,000 children, seniors and families who are food insecure in Westchester County. Every year the Food Bank for Westchester saves the community over 3 million dollars over the wholesale cost of food distributed.