In order to help combat food insecurity in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty and Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have teamed up to launch The Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty Food Pantry presented by HSS. The food pantry will be located at P.S. 12 and M.S. 484 in the Ocean Hill Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn – an area where 32% of residents face food insecurity according to NYC Food Policy – and will be stocked with non-perishable food and household items and provided the necessary support to distribute free groceries and meals on-site.
P.S. 12 and M.S. 484 are both Title 1 schools, serving a high number of children from low-income households. To further engage with the families, the Nets, Liberty and HSS will also work with the Food Bank to host monthly fit clinics where students will learn about nutrition, sports performance, and sports safety.
Distributions from the food pantry will occur several times per month based on a schedule designated by school administration, and patrons will have the opportunity to select meals, groceries and household items, free of charge, to meet the needs of each family.
“We remain committed to serving our community by addressing issues impacting Brooklynites, including the crisis of food insecurity,” said John Abbamondi, CEO of BSE Global, parent company of the Nets and Barclays Center. “No one should ever go to school or work hungry, and we are proud to work alongside the Liberty and HSS to do our part in providing hunger relief in Ocean Hill Brownsville – an area where food insecurity disproportionately impacts our neighbors.”
1495 Sports is proud to bring the following video from the event:
“As members of the Brooklyn community, we feel a responsibility to help ensure that all residents have access to their basic needs, including food,” said New York Liberty CEO Keia Clarke. “We know that food insecurity disproportionality affects BIPOC and low-income families for a myriad of reasons. In partnership with the Nets and HSS, the Liberty hope to play a small part in alleviating a big issue.”
“We recognize food insecurity is significantly impacting Ocean Hill Brownsville residents, now more than ever due to the lingering pandemic,” said Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO at HSS. “Teaming up with the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty to unveil the food pantry is an incredible opportunity for us to support our neighbors in Brooklyn, and ultimately help close the Meal Gap in our community. At HSS, we are committed to helping people get back to what they love and need to do better than any other place in the world, and we are also committed to partnering with likeminded organizations who aim to help others.”
“Food Bank is committed to assist with programs across New York City that not only feed our youth in need and their families, but also educates them on nutrition and wellness so they can build a stronger future,” said Food Bank For New York City President and CEO Leslie Gordon. “We’re committed to nourishing our neighbors across the city, and are incredibly proud to partner with the Brooklyn Nets, New York Liberty and Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) on this initiative serving the Ocean Hill community in Brooklyn.”
The Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty Food Pantry presented by HSS officially opened on Tuesday, March 1 following a ribbon cutting ceremony with Abbamondi, Clark, Shapiro, Zac Hall, Senior Vice President of Programs at Food Bank for NYC, Principal Luard of M.S. 484 and Principal Watson of P.S. 12. Nets Legend Albert King, Liberty mascot, Ellie the Elephant, and students from both schools were also in attendance, and together the group packed bags of food from the pantry.
Ahead of the food pantry’s opening, the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty Foundation and HSS also launched a donation campaign with Food Bank for New York City that will run for the remainder of the current school year in June. Every dollar donated to Food Bank for New York City at the link here will be matched up to $20,000. For more information, please visit: www.brooklynnets.com/pantry.
Last season, the Nets and Liberty partnered with HSS to stock a food pantry at P.S. 308, Clara Cardwell School. The pantry was opened during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of the food insecurity that many faced during those challenging times. Over the course of 10 months, the pantry was able to serve nearly 7,000 people – 44% of those were children.