Food Bank For New York City Launches New “Thankful to Give” Campaign

Food Bank For New York City, the city’s major hunger relief organization, launched its Thankful to Give campaign this week in advance of the Thanksgiving and holiday season, and National Philanthropy Day on November 15.

The citywide campaign, which kicked off this week on digital bus shelters, will run through December as a call to action. The campaign features famous New Yorkers, including Food Bank hunger-relief ambassadors Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain,  Kevin Bacon, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Katie Lee, Kelly Bensimon, Selita Ebanks, Oliver Platt, Sunny Anderson, and Daphne Oz —all longtime supporters of Food Bank For New York City’s mission. The focus is to urge New Yorkers to give back this holiday season and beyond by raising awareness of the 1.5 million New Yorkers who rely on Food Bank and its citywide network of charities for meals and other resources.  The ads feature celebrity images shot by noted photographer Melanie Dunea.

In addition to the awareness campaign, Food Bank will distribute 20,000 turkeys, roasters and other holiday trimmings to ensure that New Yorkers  in need have a warm holiday meal this November.  Also, in advance of the Thankful to Give campaign and National Philanthropy Day, Sysco Corporation announced its donation of a truck to join Food Bank’s fleet of vehicles that delivers food from its Hunts Point warehouse in the Bronx to its member charities citywide. The Sysco truck included over 800 cases of food to be distributed to Food Bank’s network.

“This holiday, Food Bank is calling on more New Yorkers to lend support.  Access to food is more important than ever as so many of our city’s most vulnerable residents are fighting hunger on a daily basis. Our Thankful to Give campaign, featuring some of our notable supporters, is meant to shine a spotlight on the daily struggles many of our neighbors are facing,” said Food Bank For New York City President and CEO, Margarette Purvis. “With National Philanthropy Day approaching, and Thanksgiving coming soon after, it is a good time to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for and how we can give back to the less fortunate. By advocating, donating or volunteering you are contributing, and everything counts in our mission to ensure that food-insecure New Yorkers are getting access to meals and other important resources.”

Susan Sarandon said “As a Food Bank Celebrity Ambassador, I'm honored to participate in this year's ad campaign and do my part to help fight hunger in our city. I hope that this campaign inspires other New Yorkers to join the fight, too.”

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Mike Scanlon, President of Sysco Foods, commented “Sysco Metro New York is proud to continue its collaboration with Food Bank For New York City by donating this 22' foot refrigerated straight truck. Food Bank will use this vehicle to enhance their already outstanding service and dedication to New York City.  Sysco has already donated over 120,000 pounds of food product this year and will continue to be a valued partner with Food Bank For New York City.”

Celebrities, chefs, corporations, professional athletes, and volunteers will show how they are thankful this November by participating in the campaign. Starting November 10th, nearly a dozen Food Bank celebrity ambassadors will appear in a new Thankful to Give ad campaign across the city, urging New Yorkers to help end hunger. Mario Batali, Anthony Bourdain, Kevin Bacon, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Katie Lee, Kelly Bensimon, Selita Ebanks, Oliver Platt, Sunny Anderson, and Daphne Oz will be featured in digital and/or print ads, declaring: “The city is our home. Hunger is not welcome here. 1 in 5 of our neighbors can’t put food on the table. Help us end hunger in NYC.”

Food Bank is also hosting several Thankful to Give events across the city throughout the month of November, where New Yorkers will show they’re thankful by helping to provide Thanksgiving meals to communities in need during the holiday season:

  • New York’s favorite NFL teams are serving up Thanksgiving dinner at Food Bank’s Community Kitchen in Harlem– the New York Giants will serve dinner on November 18th, followed by the New York Jets on November 25th.
  • Mario Batali, David Chang, April Bloomfield, Anne Burrell and other top chefs and celebrities are also throwing on aprons at Food Bank’s Kitchen on November 18th, 19th and 24th to serve more than 10,000 meals.
  • More than 1,250 financial analysts from Bank of America and PIMCO are taking a rare break from the fast-paced world of finance to pack 6,500 Food Bank 2 Go meal boxes from their NYC offices for New Yorkers in need during the week of November 17-22nd.
  • Food Bank is distributing 1,350 turkeys and other holiday trimmings during the week of November 17-22nd to families in Sandy-affected areas, including Coney Island, Far Rockaway, Flatbush and Staten Island.
  • On November 22nd, New Yorkers will help re-pack holiday food items at a special family volunteer event at Food Bank’s 90,000-square-foot food distribution Warehouse in the Bronx.
  • On Thanksgiving eve, Food Bank will serve more than 1,600 meals to hundreds of struggling New Yorkers, providing them with take-home meals to celebrate Thanksgiving the next day.

Thankful to Give can be viewed at

The launch of the Thankful to Give campaign comes a week after the one-year anniversary of Federal food stamp cuts (SNAP), which took 76 million meals off the tables of low-income New Yorkers, and just one month after the two-year anniversary of Super Storm Sandy, pushing thousands of New Yorkers into the emergency food system. Following these man-made and natural disasters, vulnerable New Yorkers continue to face hunger. Through Thankful to Give, Food Bank aims to raise public awareness of the city’s hunger crisis, which can be especially hard during the holidays.  Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank For New York City’s programs and services.

About Food Bank For New York City

Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs for more than 30 years. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers. Through its network of more than 1,000 charities and schools citywide, Food Bank provides food for more than 63 million free meals for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank For New York City’s income support services, including food stamps (also known as SNAP) and free tax assistance for the working poor, put more than $100 million each year into the pockets of New Yorkers, helping them to afford food and achieve greater dignity and independence. In addition, Food Bank’s nutrition education programs and services empower more than 275,000 children, teens and adults to sustain a healthy diet on a low budget.