ON NEW YEAR’S DAY, SOUP KITCHEN OPENS TO SERVE HUNGRY AND HOMELESS WITH CUTS TO FOOD STAMPS LOOMING
Anonymous Donor funds new facility as tens of thousands of New Yorkers face cutoff from benefits
NEW YORK – January 1st, 2020 - With deep cuts looming to the federal food stamp program for tens of thousands of New York families, the Bronx Parent Housing Network, Inc. (BPHN) on New Year’s Day opened the BPHN Loving Arms Soup Kitchen on the Upper East Side to help feed the growing number of hungry and homeless New Yorkers. The facility has been funded by an anonymous donor.
“Wall Street might be breaking records, but there are hungry people in New York, and the situation is threatening to get even worse,” said Victor M. Rivera, President and Chief Executive Officer of BPHN, once a homeless man himself.
Many of the facility’s customers are not homeless, but rather are New Yorkers contending with food insecurity due to the high cost of living, which often forces them to choose between eating and paying for their other expenses.
In early December, the Trump administration announced changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that will make it harder for some adults to receive this critical assistance. Media outlets have reported that as many as 70,000 New Yorkers will lose access to this important program in April 2020. BPHN has recognized that the need for food kitchens may grow dramatically in the coming months.
“With changes to the food stamp program coming, our network is hearing about food pantries running out of resources throughout the city as thousands more families prepare to face food insecurity,” Rivera said. “Working with our partners, we are determined to help as many people as we can, for as long as we can.”
BPHN expects to serve as many as 200 pre-packaged meals at lunch and at dinner on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, with meals catered by Bronx restaurant Havana Express.
Rivera was joined at the facility Tuesday by City Council Member Ben Kallos.
"No community, including the Upper East Side, is immune to the sad reality of families facing hunger during this holiday season," said Council Member Kallos. "As a City, we must prepare for looming federal cuts to SNAP benefits and bolster outreach to the homeless whenever and wherever possible. Thank you to the Bronx Parent Housing Network and its anonymous donor for bringing this new soup kitchen to my district."
About Bronx Parent Housing Network, Inc.
Bronx Parent Housing Network (BPHN) was created in 2001 to address street homelessness with the goal of finding permanent housing for each and every homeless person in New York City. Victor M. Rivera, who is one of the founders, and now serves as President and CEO, himself was homelessness and experienced desperation and despondence through much of his young life, experience that has informed his work and his vision, and is credited with making BPHN what it is today. BPHN has grown from a fledgling organization with a $700,000 budget, to now managing contracts totaling approximately $80 million, offering housing and support services that span over 80 building sites throughout New York City. This explosive growth symbolizes not only BPHN’s comprehensive expertise as a housing provider, but demonstrates a unique depth of understanding of homelessness and the ability to continuously seek out opportunities to adequately address gaps and build capacity along the entire housing spectrum from street homeless, to stabilization beds, to long-term transitional and ultimately permanent housing. For more information about BPHN please visit our website: https://bphn.org/