Anna Quinn, Patch Staff
BED-STUY, BROOKLYN — A food pantry whose demand increased six-fold since the start of the coronavirus crisis will open a new distribution center this week.
The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH) will open its new community food distribution center in East New York on Thursday, marking its first move from an emergency space opened at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The new location, found at 744 Berriman St., will include refrigeration and freezes, dry storage and packing areas, office and meeting rooms and a loading dock in its 19,000-square-foot space, according to the organization.
“The Campaign Against Hunger has been relentless in our community’s approach to caring as we grow into new places and spaces to meet the needs of our neighbors,” Founder and Executive Director Dr. Melony Samuels said. “As the pandemic rages on, the struggle for addressing basic needs remains devastating for individuals and families across the city. We are encouraged to have the opportunity to expand our emergency response capability and serve even more community partners.”
The Campaign Against Hunger first set up an emergency warehouse in March 2020 with through a donation from production company Broadway Stages, who then extended the lease for the warehouse throughout the year. The lease ended in March 2021.
The Berriman Street space will serve as a transitional space as the organization searches for a permanent location to meet its needs, according to the food pantry.
The Campaign Against Hunger has provided food for more than 20 million meals since the pandemic began.
Both its native Bed-Stuy and East New York are among the top seven community districts in New York City with high levels of food insecurity, which has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, according to a Food Bank For New York City Report.
“We are living through difficult times, but together with the coordination and collaboration of elected officials, community-based organizations, and partners around the city and beyond, we can advance food justice in NYC,” TCAH wrote.
The new distribution center will open at 12:30 p.m.