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THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 2022                                THE QUEENS TIMES                                                             PAGE 3

           Food Bank For New York City Partnered With Barilla to                                 Assemblymember Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas
                          Provide 1,500 Meals to New Yorkers                                    & State Senator Robert Jackson Applaud
                            This Martin Luther King Jr. Day                                      The Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, And

             Food Bank For New York  died at higher rates than their       About Food Bank For New York   Asian Legislative Caucus 2022 People’s
        City, in collaboration with long-  proportion of the population.  City - Since 1983, Food Bank For   Budget And its Support For
        time partner Barilla, honored  Black Americans have also been  New York City has been the city’s
        Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this  about twice as likely to face food  major hunger-relief organization   Increasing Social Workers &
        year through a day of service,  insecurity than white Americans  working to end hunger throughout   Psychologists in Schools
        in which they cooked, packed,  during the pandemic. Food Bank  the five boroughs. Nearly one in
        served, and delivered 1,500 meals  For New York City has worked  five New Yorkers relies on Food
        to community partners and local  tirelessly throughout the pan-  Bank for food and other resources.       On the Martin Luther King  social worker to each school build-
        residents in Harlem. Barilla, who  demic to provide meals to those  Food Bank takes a strategic, mul-  Jr. Holiday, the Members of the  ing serving 250 general education
        have helped raise $1.7 million for  facing food insecurity in all five  tifaceted approach that provides  Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic,  students and the 1:50 ratio for stu-
        the Food Bank over our decades  boroughs.                  meals and builds capacity in the  and Asian Legislative Caucus  dents with intensive needs.
        long relationship, provided all the       “As a family-owned food com-  neediest communities, while rais-  led by Chair Assemblymember       “I’m grateful to the Black,
        food and ingredients, and meals  pany, it is our strong belief that  ing awareness and engagement  Michaelle Solages, outlined the  Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian
        were delivered to organizations  good, nutritious food should be  among all New Yorkers. Through  key priorities contained in The  Legislative Caucus for its support
        including Harlem Grown, Safe  available to all,” said Melissa Ten-  its network of more than 1,000  People’s Budget – an annual docu-  for investment in mental health
        Horizon, and local senior centers.  dick, Vice President of Marketing  charities and schools citywide,  ment that outlines the budget and  services in schools in its 2022
             “During this time of uncertainty  at Barilla Americas. “We are  Food Bank provided more than  legislative priorities necessary to  People’s Budget. The last two
        and social distancing, connect-  proud to continue our meaning-  80 million free meals last year  uplift and empower communities  years have demonstrated more
        ing with our community can feel  ful partnership with Food Bank  for New Yorkers in need. Food  of color across New York State.  clearly than ever that we have
        especially difficult,” said Food  for New York City to feed New  Bank For New York City’s income       For many years the Caucus has  a mental health crisis in New
        Bank’s Head Chef, Sheri Jeffer-  Yorkers in need.”         support services, including food  been a leading advocate for his-  York State that must receive our
        son. “My team and I are grateful       Food Bank continues to offer  stamps (also known as SNAP) and  toric legislative gains that would  swift attention. This crisis is
        and appreciative that we could join  an at-home volunteer opportunity  free tax assistance for the work-  finally address the systemic harms  disproportionately impacting our
        together in an effort to provide  for neighbors to feel connected to  ing poor, put nearly $36 million  against BIPOC New Yorkers. The  most vulnerable students and is
        some healing in a community that  their communities by assembling  each year into the pockets of New  Caucus continues to stand by the  a matter of racial justice. I call
        has been hit hard by COVID-19.  snack, winter, and hygiene kits  Yorkers, helping them to afford  legislature’s critical actions in-  on the legislature to support my
        We are proud to honor Dr. Martin  and sending them distribution  food and achieve greater dignity  cluding health and mental health.  bill with Senator Jackson, S1969/
        Luther King Jr.’s legacy by helping  sites in their borough. The kits  and independence. Food Bank’s  In the initial document released,  A5019, to increase the number of
        our neighbors.” Chef Sheri and her  contain the most needed items as  nutrition education programs  the 2022 People’s Budget noted  social workers and psychologists
        team partnered with Barilla chefs  identified by Food Bank and their  and services empower more than  that “by increasing the number of  in schools and request the Gov-
        to prepare an enormous number  partner agencies, and participants  50,000 children, teens and adults  social workers in our schools the  ernor’s partnership in including
        of meals with a small group of  are encouraged to participate in  to sustain a healthy diet and ac-  Caucus believes that we would  this funding in the budget. With
        volunteers.                  groups and share experiences  tive lifestyle on a limited budget.  be able to improve not only the  the federal government declaring
             In light of the COVID-19 pan-  on social media. Once the kits  Working toward long-term solu-  amount of care provided to our stu-  a national emergency for youth
        demic, the demand for emergency  are sent to member agencies by  tions to food poverty, Food Bank  dents but also the quality of care.”  mental health, this is our time for
        food distribution has skyrocketed.  January 24, they will be handed  develops policy and conducts  It also stated that “all students in  New York to rise and meet this
        Prior to the pandemic, nearly 1.1  out to clients, including families,  research to inform community and  New York State should have eq-  challenge,” said Assemblymember
        million New Yorkers were food  seniors, students, those who may  government efforts. To learn more  uitable access to physical, mental  Jessica González-Rojas.
        insecure; now, that number is as  already have been facing chal-  about how you can help, please  and behavioral health services for       Senator Jackson said, “The
        high as 1.6 million. Furthermore,  lenges prior to the COVID-19  visit Follow us  their wellness and success.”  members Black, Puerto Rican,
        the pandemic has disproportion-  outbreak, and also those who may  on Facebook (FoodBank4NYC),       This budget document builds on  Hispanic & Asian Legislative
        ately impacted people of color. In  be making use of their services for  Twitter (@FoodBank4NYC) and  the many years that the Caucus has  Caucus represent the most deeply
        32 states, Black Americans have  the first time.           Instagram (@FoodBank4NYC).   supported the increase of mental  impacted communities. Given the
                                                                                                health professionals in schools. It  huge roles social-emotional devel-
         Love is Blossoming on February 14 at The Shops at Skyview                              also comes at a time when the U.S  opment and mental health plays in
                                                                                                Surgeon General has declared a  the wellness and academic suc-
        Shoppers are invited to share the       “It’s important, now more than  a growing mix of national retailers  national emergency for child and  cess of students in school, it is no
        love this Valentine’s Day with  ever, to spread positivity and love  and local favorites, including lead-  adolescent mental health. This  surprise that the People’s Budget
        Free #LoveBlossoms bouquets   to our community,” said Rishika  ing brands such as Target, Uniqlo,  declaration has been supported by  has once again highlighted my bill
                                     Mahtani, Marketing Director for  SkyFoods, Marshalls, and locals  national advocacy organizations,  S1969 as a priority for this year’s
             Roses are red. Violets are blue.  ShopCore Properties, owners and  like Gong Cha and Royal Beauty.  including the  American Acad-  budget. The funding of mental
        The Shops at Skyview is sharing  managing entity for The Shops at  The Shops at Skyview is accented  emy of Pediatrics, the American  health professionals in our public
        the love this Valentine’s Day with  Skyview. “This Valentine’s Day,  by  an abundance  of  signature  Academy of Child and Adolescent  schools answers the call to ad-
        YOU! On February 14, the prop-  we invite our community to visit  events, family centric experiences,  Psychiatry, and the Children’s  dress the devastating impacts of a
        erty will display “Love Blossoms,”  the property and create beautiful  and so much more. The shopping  Hospital Association which made  persisting pandemic, overcrowded
        a four-foot-tall floral interactive  bouquets for someone they love.  destination, conveniently located  a similar declaration in October  schools, and the overwhelming
        heart sculpture. The community  Whether it be a spouse, significant  in Queens, N.Y., features a mix  2020.          economic burden on communi-
        is invited to visit and curate their  other, parent or friend, we hope  of premier national retail stores       Assemblymember González-  ties of color and working-class
        own free bouquets by picking  these flowers bring a smile to their  for women’s, men’s and children’s  Rojas hailed the launch of the  neighborhoods.  Mental  health
        live flowers from the sculpture.  face. We encourage our visitors  apparel, shoes, electronics, home  People’s Budget and support for  concerns interfere with students’
        Shoppers are sure to feel the  to share their creations on social  furnishings, entertainment, cos-  an increase in mental health ser-  ability to learn, grow, and develop,
        flower-power of love when they  media and tag The Shops at Sky-  metics, groceries and more.   vices in schools as she is the prime  and the mental health needs of our
        present their colorful free bouquet  view @theshopsatskyviewny and  For more information about The  sponsor for S1969/A5019, which  students have sky-rocketed since
        to loved ones. The flower frenzy  #LoveBlossoms.”          Shops at Skyview please visit  would increase the number of  the beginning of the pandemic.”
        will be located on Level 4 near       The Shops at Skyview is a or follow  social workers and psychologists  The senator added: “During my
        Forever 21 and will be available  multi-level shopping destination  Skyview’s social media @theshop-  in public schools in New York  previous education tour around
        while supplies last.         located in Flushing, N.Y. featuring  satskyviewny.         State. According to the New York  the  state,  I discovered  schools
                                                                                                Association of School Psycholo-  in rural and upstate New York
         Statement on Governor Hochul’s NYS Executive Budget For                                gists, “studies confirm that 1 in  without their social workers. This
                                                                                                5 adolescents has a diagnosable  hindered the school’s ability to
                                       Fiscal Year 2023                                         mental health disorder” but it is  provide adequate services and
        James Davis, President, Profes-  most powerful force for eco-  state funding and we look for-  also true that several children and  programming to the students. I am
                                                                                                adolescents do not receive the  hopeful that with a new governor
        sional Staff Congress/CUNY, the  nomic mobility for low-income  ward to reviewing the budget   treatment they need. This legisla-  as a partner with the Caucus in
        Union that Represents 30,000  New Yorkers, immigrants, and  in detail. CUNY identified   tion will help several schools and  this year’s budget, we can finally
        Faculty and Professional Staff at  students of color.      $313 million in needed invest-  school districts which do not have  deliver education justice in the
        the City University of New York.       We thank the Governor for  ments in its University Budget   mental health services to get closer  lives of the most vulnerable New
                                     her proposed senior college  Request, and our students need   to the recommended ratio of one  Yorkers.”
              Governor  Hochul  has  an-  funding increase, made with-  additional full-time mental
        nounced a combined $1.5 billion  out increasing tuition, and her  health counselors and academic
        increase in operating support  plan  to  hold  community  col-  advisors. PSC members are
        for CUNY and SUNY over the  lege funding harmless against  ready to work with the Governor
        next five years, including an ad-  temporary COVID-related en-  and the Legislature to further
        ditional $170 million for CUNY  rollment losses. We are also  increase the State’s investment
        senior colleges next year (brief-  encouraged  by  the  Governor’s  in CUNY and to enact New
        ing book pg 105). It’s heartening  plans to expand campus child-  Deal for CUNY legislation so
        to see that Governor Hochul  care and reform the Tuition As-  that the public college students
        is acting decisively to begin  sistance Program (TAP). After  of New York City can have the
        reversing the years of austerity  many years of disinvestment,  free, fully funded, high quality
        funding for CUNY, New York’s  CUNY needs this increased  education that they deserve.
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