Catering for the Homeless, Inc. continued its work during the coronavirus crisis, growing exponentially in the past two years, having now provided services in three states—New York, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. We have mainly been working in NYC, now expanding throughout New York State. In Queens alone, we have provided food in 33 neighborhoods through nearly 150 partnerships. Toiletry and clothing drives are totaling over hundred thousand items collected annually, with meals served reaching almost two million last year and this year.
We are continuing to expand partnerships throughout these areas, even without the web development which would free us up to work nationally more readily, enabling us to provide astronomically more meals. While continuing to seek the right person, means, and way to get the web development completed to serve more people in need throughout the country, we help whoever we can, as much as we can. Every volunteer and donation is invaluable because every meal and every item donated shows those in need that someone cares.
This organization has also paid for medication for the homeless, offered rental assistance to prevent homelessness, and is bringing meals and groceries to thousands of families in need throughout New York City and State. Due to the coronavirus, partnerships with catering companies and schools have been postponed, but with the monetary donations received, we have provided mass quantities of food to pantries depleted by rising needs.
The media has been a huge catalyst in helping us to spread this message and gain additional partnerships, volunteers, and support. We are thrilled with how far we’ve come and what we’ve been able to contribute to the community and are determined to find a way to complete the vision for this organization.
At a catering event 6 years ago, I witnessed hundreds of meals just thrown into the trash. This was good, quality food. It was there that I learned that the reason businesses don’t donate their food excess from catered events is because they believe they could be sued. This is a false belief. The opposite is true. National Good Samaritan Laws protect businesses that donate food, and donating is also incentivized through tax write-offs. I continue to get out this message through the media, through my comprehensive book on homelessness, Our Invisible Neighbors, and through speaking engagements in author talks and public meetings.
The coronavirus just shined a light on the need that was already there—the mounting need of food insecurity in America. Catering for the Homeless still holds that vision to connect the billions of pounds of food going to waste with those who need it. We still believe we will one day become the leading national food service nonprofit, providing billions of meals a year. According to Feeding America, 50 million American families experience hunger on a regular basis. Approximately 135 billion meals are going to waste while approximately 55 billion meals are needed to provide 50 million Americans in need 3 meals a day. While people in America are starving, there is enough food going to waste to feed them all in every town and state throughout the country.