As 2012 came to a close, homelessness in New York City continued to soar to record levels. The number of people sleeping in emergency shelter each night has reached a staggering 50,000 – more than 20,000 of them children – and the effects of Hurricane Sandy have left countless more of our neighbors homeless, hungry and in desperate need of help.
Record homelessness and the disastrous effects of Sandy come at the same time that many other service providers in NYC have eliminated programs or closed altogether due to economic hardship, creating a tremendous surge in need.
To help our critical frontline services meet the unprecedented demand, the Coalition has increased efforts to engage the private sector for help. In October we launched a new Corporate and Law Firm Sponsorship Campaign – an innovative collaboration with New York companies and firms to support the Grand Central Food Program (GCFP). For nearly 30 years GCFP has been delivering life-saving meals to nearly 1,000 homeless and hungry men, women and children on the streets of New York City each night.
This new campaign gives NYC law firms and corporations the opportunity to sponsor a GCFP van for $10,000 per month, delivering 10,000 hot, nutritious meals to those most in need. The name and logo of each sponsor appear
on the van for that month, and the Coalition gratefully and publicly acknowledges the sponsor’s generosity on its website and in social media.
The campaign kicked off with sponsorships from Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Lane Office, Troutman Sanders LLP and Proskauer Rose LLP. In addition to providing invaluable financial support, sponsoring groups send volunteers to help GCFP distribute the hot and healthy meals at 31 street sites throughout Manhattan and the Bronx. “These new volunteers have been a wonderful addition to th
e program,” said Juan De La Cruz, GCFP director. “They tell me again and again how they get more out of their experience than they ever imagined.”
“We are honored to be one of the first corporate sponsors of the Grand Central Food Program,” said Gregory Burke, President of Lane Office. “It’s extremely rewarding for everyone in our company to be involved in this.”
It’s been truly inspiring to see New York’s legal and corporate communities respond to the crisis by stepping up to help us continue this critical program, and we look forward to working with many more sponsors in the future.
If your company or law firm is interested in learning more about becoming a GCFP sponsor, please contact us at pbayley@CFTHomeless.org.