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Church of the Village Feeds the City’s Hungry

How severe is food insecurity in New York City? Very. According to Food Bank NYC, approximately 1.4 million people across the five boroughs rely on feeding programs for meals. Church of the Village (COTV ), a progressive United Methodist Community in the heart of the West Village, has recognized that need and is facing hunger in their com- munity head on with their feeding program, Hope For our Neighbors in Need (HNN).HNN’s Daisy’s Pantry hands out bags of groceries each Tuesday. On Saturdays HNN hosts a home-cooked community meal. HNN feeds roughly 500 people every week, that number growing with new faces showing up every week.

It’s no secret that housing costs and living expenses in the city are rising as are the numbers of unemployed or underemployed. The poor are the hardest hit by the constantly changing economy. The population of clients who come to HNN for assistance is quite diverse; elderly, dis- abled, veterans, homeless, and those living paycheck to paycheck. It’s easy not to be in tune with the hardships of those who hunger affects, but the reality is that it is all around us.

“I live in a transitional shelter here in The Village. They provide food Monday through Friday, but come the weekend, I’m on my own. If it wasn’t for the food program at Church of the Village, I might not eat on the weekends,” explains a regular client of HNN.

On Sunday, November 2, COTV is hosting the first HNN Benefit Gala. The Gala will honor recently retired HNN Coordinator, Louise R. Fawcett, for her ongoing commitment to help- ing HNN feed New York’s hungry. In addition, we will recognize Broadway producer turned advocate, founder of the Fortune Society and WBAI radio talent, David Rothenberg, as an important partner who has strengthened the impact of HNN throughout the city. Rothenberg has used his radio platform to call on New Yorkers to donate their pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters tothe Pennies From Heaven coin drive. The money raised from both fundraisers will be used to help with the weekly expenses of the running the programs, and will help the church to build a more sustainable system for the future.

COTV believes that with community assistance poverty can be eradicated. HNN is always in need of volunteers to staff the biweekly program for those who would like to give more than spare change.

COTV is located on the corner of 7th Ave. and 13th St. For more information, please visit http://www.churchofthevillage.org or contact Laura Wise (laurakwise@ gmail.com), the community engagement coordinator for COTV/HNN.

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