In a time of crisis, the next generation of New York City’s nonprofit leaders learn, grow and innovate with the right resources

In a time of crisis, the next generation of New York City’s nonprofit leaders learn, grow and innovate with the right resources: by Justin Phillips, nourish warehouse manager at New York Common Pantry, and Sarah E. Hayes, LMSW, deputy director of the Economic Empowerment Program at Sanctuary for Families, 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders Rising Leaders
For almost a year now, our neighborhoods have grappled with the uncertainty and challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Since March, we have seen a drastic rise in food insecurity and domestic violence in New York City’s most vulnerable communities. An estimated 1.4 million New Yorkers rely on emergency food programs, and food insecurity continues to grow. Additionally, with many domestic violence victims trapped at home with abusive partners the incidence of abuse has been under-reported. Advocates are anticipating a surge in demand for food, housing, legal advocacy and other supportive services as the city reopens and the economic crisis continues.
In the face of dire need, our work through New York Common Pantry and Sanctuary for Families addresses issues fundamental to economic mobility: reducing hunger in low-income communities to promote dignity, health and self-sufficiency, and supporting economic justice for survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.
To keep our services going, we look to our partners in the private sector for collaboration and support. Bank of America recognizes that in order for nonprofits to continue providing essential services to underserved communities, we need the resources that promote long-term organizational success. Recently, we were named awardees of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program — an opportunity that enables us to expand our reach and deliver life-changing services that empower our communities.
The Neighborhood Builders program helps foster the next generation of nonprofit leaders and connects us to the tools needed for a sustainable future. The program provides critical funding, virtual leadership training and access to a network of peer organizations across the country, to help equip us to be leaders within our institutions and our communities. We will continue being successful agents of change.
At New York Common Pantry, we have provided over 5 million meals and served over 339,000 New Yorkers since the start of the pandemic. Bank of America’s support will help expand warehouse space, create new jobs and increase its capacity to meet the drastic rise of food insecurity in the Bronx and East Harlem. At Sanctuary for Families, we have served over 7,100 clients since March and provided one of the few intensive career training programs nationwide for domestic violence and trafficking survivors. The Neighborhood Builder grant directly supports our Economic Empowerment Program, which prepares survivors to secure living-wage, career-track jobs through intensive workforce and technology training.