Shortly after New York State shut down in March 2020, NYCFC launched a partnership with New York Common Pantry, the largest community-based food pantry in New York City, to provide desperately needed relief to local Bronx residents. As of today, the partnership has delivered more than 200,000 meals to Bronx residents, adding to the total 550,000 meals that have been served through NY Common Pantry’s Choice Pantry Bronx. As resources and aid begin to decline across the five boroughs, NYCFC continues COVID relief efforts with NY Common Pantry and local elected officials in the South Bronx – the community the Club proudly calls home – through generous support from the Club and dedicated fans and partners.
First, the Club made a six-figure monetary contribution to NY Common Pantry’s Choice Pantry Bronx location at Freeman Street and Hoe Avenue that regularly serves vital meals to 81,000 neighbors. Then, NYCFC partners – including BODYARMOR, Goya, Dumbo Moving & Storage, Xylem, Cisco, Captain Morgan and Fidelis Care – got behind the Club’s work and generously donated money, resources, and ground support to NY Common Pantry.
Over Thanksgiving, 12 NYCFC staff members – including the Club’s full C-Suite – volunteered their time at NY Common Pantry handing out holiday meals and Thanksgiving pantry packages. Then, in December, NYCFC and Club partner Fidelis Care donated 1,500 soccer balls as part of NY Common Pantry’s annual Toy Drive.
Through all of this, NYCFC and City in the Community (CITC) NY staff have provided 292 hours of volunteer service at NY Common Pantry. This adds to the Club’s 6,119 volunteer hours to-date.
“NYCFC has been a true neighbor during this pandemic and has brought relief to a major issue of concern—food insecurity,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, who represents Yankee Stadium where the Club plays its home matches. “Together with New York Common Pantry, NYCFC has delivered meals to help families, local nonprofits and community centers, senior buildings, houses of worship, NYCHA residents and more during this extremely difficult time, and I commend the Club’s dedication in taking meaningful steps to support their neighbors in the Bronx during this challenging time. We appreciate the efforts of NYCFC to partner with our office and other community organizations to distribute thousands of food boxes, groceries and meals to our residents and families in need.”
“The partnership we have with NYCFC and New York Common Pantry created on-going and critical delivery of meals directly to our residents each week during the pandemic,” said Gabriela Silverio, Program Director of Bridge Builders, a Highbridge-based nonprofit that offers programs and supportive services to local families and seniors. “NYCFC contacted us when the pandemic first hit and today, over half a year later, we’re still working with them every week and through this partnership we’ve been able to grow the number of the families, and in particular seniors, that we reach.”
Stephen Grimaldi, NY Common Pantry Executive Director, continued: “New York Common Pantry continues to see significant increases in demand as a result of the pandemic. Since March, NYCFC has been central to our ability to serve those in need, especially in the Bronx where food insecurity is at the highest levels in New York City. NYCFC’s support has come through product and monetary donations, connections to their partners to drive additional support and awareness, as well as regular volunteer hours from NYCFC staff and leadership teams. We deeply appreciate NYCFC and their commitment to serving the community, especially during this critical time.”
“This year, with so many New Yorkers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Fidelis Care understands that the need in our communities is greater than ever,” said Pam Hassen, Fidelis Care Chief Member Engagement Officer. “Working together with our partners across New York State such as the New York City Football Club, we will reach those most in need.”
The 2020 holiday season also marks the halfway point of Cityzens Giving for Recovery – City Football Group’s (CFG) 12-month global campaign to help communities get back on their feet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. NYCFC and CITC are continuing to make a major impact locally through this campaign and have raised over $40,000 specifically through Cityzens Giving for Recovery fundraising – which includes a dollar-for-dollar match from CFG – going directly to the South Bronx.
A major portion of this campaign fundraising came from “An Evening with NYCFC,” the Cityzens Giving for Recovery digital fundraiser starring NYCFC First Team players and friends of the Club back in September. The event featured an auction with special items signed by the NYCFC First Team and one-of-a-kind game-worn jerseys from the home win over FC Cincinnati on September 12 when Etihad Airways dedicated the front of NYCFC’s jersey, ordinarily bearing its company logo, to "Cityzens Giving for the South Bronx.” NYCFC partners – Cisco, Xylem, Etihad, Heineken, Fidelis Care, BODYARMOR and Dumbo Moving & Storage – also generously contributed to the success of this virtual fundraiser, as did The Third Rail.
With all the challenges 2020 has brought, NYCFC is proud of how the Club, fans and partners have come together to support the South Bronx, but the work will not stop here. Cityzens Giving for Recovery will continue fundraising until June 30th, 2021 with CFG matching donations (to a limit of £500,000 globally). All contributions will be split between NY Common Pantry and CITC to continue providing free meals and free community soccer for young people.
NYCFC thanks all fans who have supported the global cause this year. Join the movement to aid in recovery and find out more at cityzensgiving.org.