Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke joins community to COVID-19 food program

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, along with staff, helping to pack a bag of produce outside PS 6, to be shared to students of District 17.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, on April 29, while practicing social distancing outside Public School 6 on Snyder Avenue, Brooklyn, was hands-on, during a Covid-19 food giveaway, where she packaged and shared bags of groceries to District 17 residents.

Clarke thanked volunteers she said, have been working day in and day out, providing for “our community, to make sure they have daily meals.”

“It is critical, many in our community have been hit hard by the Covid 19 pandemic, some people were maybe furloughed, while others, are unemployed, and not receiving any financial support right now, so it is important for the community to come together to provide for those who are finding it difficult to provide for themselves and families,” said Clarke.

She thanked Victoria Clarke, Dr. Zulema Blair, Campaign Against Hunger, PS 6, Seeds in the Middle, and her office staff, among others, for providing the service to the community.

“We have to do our part. We cannot sit back and watch people suffering, and not do what we can to make sure they are provided for,” said Congresswoman Clarke, who protected herself with gloves, a face mask, and braved the cold tempreture to hand out food hampers.

Veronica Clarke, parent leader of District 17 told Caribbean Life outside, PS 6, that the food drive started six weeks ago to help parents who needed food, and other necessities to help them through the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

A survey, sent out to parents in the district, determined their urgent needs. To date, over 75 parents have picked up bags of groceries, shared out weekly. However, donations of cleaning supplies are greatly needed, said Veronica Clarke, whose group partnered with elected officials to start the outreach.

From left, Veronica Clarke, Dr. Zulema Blair, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, and others show distancing situation. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Dr. Zulema Blair added that, along with Borough President Appointee Pam Harmon, VP of CEC 17, parents via a survey were asked to rate their needs after cries for help were heard in community.

Food shortage was the greatest need, followed by homework help, cleaning supplies and remote learning assistance.

Blair, also a Brooklyn Borough President appointee for community education District 17, reached out to the BP’s office, that in turn received produce from food giant, Fresh Direct.

Senator Zellnor Myrie and Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson, and other organizations, including Seeds in the Middle and Campaign Against Hunter, and food pantries helped the program to circulate essentials in the school district.

The program, being run only in District 17, receive donations to keep it going, said Blair, who could be reached via [email protected], or by calling 716-724-9916. Victoria Clarke could be reached at 347-731-3122 for help.

Director of Seeds in the Middle, Nancy Katz, whose organization started a farm program in Crown-Heights schools in 2010 to encourage students with healthy eating, is happy to be a part of the food giveaway. She has also partnered with Councilwomen Farah Louis and Alika Ampry Samuel to help in their community.

She added that plans were in place to create similar farms at schools in the Brownsville and Flatbush communities, but did not get the opportunity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Katz is also inviting foodies to log on to http://www.tastesofbrooklyn.com, to help restaurants survive during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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