Farms to Food Banks
RCNY shares in the joy shared by one of it’s partner charities, Farms to Food Banks. We’ve received a message from FFB’s John Botti: “Yesterday was the day we've been waiting for! Our first truckload of food has arrived and we can begin distributing to Bronx communiies A.S.A.P." 
        more info & photos inside.

Yesterday was the day we've been waiting for!
John Botti
Principal at JB Investments

Yesterday was the day we've been waiting for! Teamwork in action. US Army Veteran and SOAR trucker Dave Lemon arrived safely Saturday morning with our first truckload of food for the families of the South Bronx. Dan Diaz and his East Side House team will be distributing food to Bronx community families.

The day was captured by ABC7NY Eyewitness News, the story is below and a link to the video clip .

Your generous donations and volunteer support helped make this happen and we cannot thank you enough. Over 1,300 of you have given to the GoFundMe campaign link raising over $150,000 - amazing!

We've also received in-kind donations from the following:
    •   Zaro's Family Bakery donated their loading dock, storage space and logistical support
    •   RXR Realty donated food storage space for community distribution
    •   SOAR Transportation donation of refrigerated truck, driver wages, and fuel that came from Idaho
    •   A crew of 20+ volunteers from East Side House Settlement worked all day and unloaded the boxes and packed them into family-size bags
    •   Fordham Prep HS students raised funds for U-Hauls to locally transport goods and joined the packing crew
    •   PPE from an anonymous donor protected the volunteers

The list grows by the day as more and more people come together to help. All of us on the Farms to Food Banks Team are so grateful for your help.

More to come soon!
John Botti

         p.s. Follow us on Twitter at @farms2foodbanks  
        Click to view story on LinkedIn

        This is what 44,000 pounds (20 metric tons) of Idaho potatoes looks like!   


Coronavirus News: Friends team up to bring free food to New Yorkers
By Eyewitness News
Saturday, April 25, 2020 9:16 PM

A truck carrying 43,000 pounds of potatoes from a farm in Idaho arrived in the Bronx Saturday.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A truck carrying 43,000 pounds of potatoes from a farm in Idaho arrived in the Bronx Saturday.

It's the first shipment of food to arrive as part of quick-thinking efforts by a team of friends to get food that would otherwise go to waste to people in need.

It all started April 14, when Westchester County money manager John Botti saw a piece on ABC's "World News Tonight" about farmers across the U.S. who were pouring milk down the drain and watching vegetables rot in the fields -- a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world.

He decided to call a few friends the next day and eventually the idea of Farms to Food Banks was born. They would send semi-trailers to the nation's farms and bring back free food to people in need.

The truckload of potatoes was taken to the East Side House Settlement in the South Bronx which is in the poorest congregation district in the city which is struggling with food shortages.

"Many of our families are from the Mott Haven area of the South Bronx so they are struggling with food insecurity," Executive Director of East Side House Settlement Daniel Diaz said.

The truck was driven from Cranney Farms in Idaho to the Bronx by Army veteran Dave Lemon and warehouse space for the shipment of potatoes was provided by Zaro's Family Bakery.

"All of this food that we are packing up today and that we are sending out to our families will be distributed on Wednesday in 3 of our local community centers and we're thinking it's probably going to feed anywhere between 2,000 and 2,500 families," Diaz said.

As for Farms to Food Banks, they've got more shipments planned, including cabbage, potatoes and rice to food banks across New York.

They're doing whatever they can to support the farmers, as well -- they paid for the potatoes from Cranney Farms.

A Go Fund Me page they set up has already raised more $135,000.