Fall 2017 Quarterly Update

A Letter from our President & CEO

Hello There!

We had a very busy summer here at the Food Bank for Westchester with the expansion of our food recovery efforts, growth of summer feeding support, the launch of Fresh Markets in Mount Vernon, and Hunger Action month awareness raising across the county.

Since the beginning of July, we have:

Recovered over 700,000 lbs. of great nutritious food from area retailers and wholesalers helping to keep food out of landfills AND helping to feed our neighbors who are hungry in Westchester.

Distributed 1.6 million lbs. of food, or 1.3 million meals including summer meals helping to feed working families, with children out of school and already stretched budgets.

Provided 569,000 lbs. of fresh produce helping people of all ages access fresh nutritious fruits and vegetables. Nutritious produce is critical to proper childhood development but also important for seniors trying to follow doctor-recommended diets.

Harvested over 6,000 pounds of fresh produce at five farm sites and eight co-op farm sites throughout the county through its Food Growing Program this summer. We have great events coming up like, An Evening in Good Taste, volunteering events on Sunday, Nov 5 and Thursday Nov 16, and a larger "Community Scoop" on Giving Tuesday, November 28. 

We look forward to an exciting fall. We have a lot planned as we continue recovering great produce and making it available to more children throughout the county. 

I look forward to meeting you and please know we are here if you ever have any questions, want to see our work in action or want to learn more.


Leslie Gordon


Food Recovery and Fighting Hunger


Food Bank for Westchester President and CEO, Leslie Gordon and Margaret Brown, of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), spoke about Food Recovery and Fighting Hunger.

NRDC Research found that 40 percent of all the food grown in the United States ends up in landfills while 200,000 residents of Westchester face food insecurity.

The Food Bank for Westchester works with retailers and wholesalers across Westchester to pick up food close to the “sell by” date, and quickly sort, re-pack and distribute great, nutritious food to people who are hungry. We follow strict FDA guidelines on safe food storage to make sure we are distributing safely, and work with our partners to educate about “best buy” and “sell by dates”. Through our food recovery efforts we have already recovered over 700,000 lbs. of food since July 1, 2017 – much of it great produce.


Launch of Fresh Markets in Mount Vernon

More than 1,000 people in Mt. Vernon who are hungry or facing food insecurity gathered in downtown Mount Vernon on Friday, July 14 to receive free, fresh produce as part of a new initiative between Food Bank for Westchester and the City of Mt. Vernon.

During the program launch, more than 11,000 lbs. of food was distributed to Mount Vernon residents. Nutrition education was also provided including recipes on how to cook many of the items.

Mount Vernon is the second largest community, after Yonkers, that Food Bank for Westchester serves throughout the county. The new Fresh Market program is an additional service the Food Bank for Westchester provides to the city. Other initiatives include food pantries, hot meal programs, shelters, senior grocery distributions and other services like its Back Pack Program and Mobile Food Pantry.

“In Mount Vernon alone, we receive nearly 270,000 visits annually for the services we already provide, so there is clearly a need to continue to address hunger in this community,” said Leslie Gordon, President and CEO of Food Bank for Westchester. “We are pleased to partner with the City of Mt. Vernon and Mayor Thomas to tackle this very critical issue in our neighborhoods, while also educating the community on the importance of nutritious eating. We must all work together to close the meal gap and eradicate hunger in Mount Vernon and throughout Westchester County.”


Food Growing Program

Food Bank for Westchester harvested over 6,000 pounds of fresh produce at five farm sites and eight co-op farm sites throughout the county through its Food Growing Program this past summer. We launched three new sites at Ronald McDonald House in Valhalla, a community farm collective in Mount Vernon, and a garden in the Women's Westchester County Correction facility in Valhalla.

This year, we launched the “Gardening 101” series of classes for those looking to polish up their gardening skills, while also learning how we help to feed children, adults and senior citizens who are experiencing hunger.

“We are entering our sixth food growing season at Food Bank for Westchester and what better way to celebrate that milestone than by inviting our community members to come inside the gardens with us and see first-hand how we grow fresh produce for our neighbors who are hungry,” said Leslie Gordon, President and CEO of Food Bank for Westchester. “Having produced an average of 50,000 pounds so far at our five main garden sites throughout the county, all of the food we grow is distributed to our partner agencies who feed our neighbors who are hungry, especially through our Mobile Food Pantry.”

Leslie Gordon Joins Produce Pete of WNBC for Hunger Action Month

President & CEO, Leslie Gordon joined Pete Napolitano better known as WNBC's Produce Pete for a special Hunger Action Month awareness segment on Saturday, September 23rd. Pete shares his tricks of the trade about how to pick the freshest fruits and vegetables. 

View the Video Here








Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month – the Feeding America network’s nationwide awareness campaign designed to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger. 

Even as other parts of the country are dealing with hurricanes, the feeling of running on empty is a reality for 1 in 5 of our Westchester residents. So, this September, we asked everyone to come together to help end hunger.

The Food Bank for Westchester encouraged local businesses, organizations, individuals, and groups to Go Orange all September long in a variety of ways!

Check Out Our Hunger Action Month Events and Tool Kit


Thank You Walmart Foundation for you Generous $75,000 Grant


The Walmart Foundation has generously supported our Food Assistance Distribution for two years in a row. With this significant grant award, the Food Bank will be able to distribute over 340,000 lbs. of good nutritious food to those in need!




OCTOBER 26 | 2017 | 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM


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