Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday announced the state is partnering with Walmart, the Community Service Society of New York, Coca-Cola, Wegmans, HelloFresh, the National Supermarket Association and Stew Leonard's this week to help deliver Thanksgiving meals to feed more than 50,000 people.
"New Yorkers have faced unprecedented challenges this year, yet they have continued to stand strong and come together in service to their communities," Cuomo said. "These partnerships will provide tens of thousands of families across the state with a warm meal and a reminder that the New York family will always take care of one another. As we approach Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season, I encourage all New Yorkers to not only find their own way to give back during these difficult times, but also give thanks to all those who have put their communities before themselves by continuing to wear masks and staying socially distant."
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said, "During these challenging times, we want to make sure New Yorkers have a delicious, warm meal for the Thanksgiving holiday. Throughout the pandemic, we have worked to help ensure that all New Yorkers have access to fresh, local food, and this partnership will continue our efforts during the holiday season. We know the holidays will be difficult this year, and we want to make sure individuals and families have the care, support and resources they need to stay healthy, warm and safe."
As the nation's largest grocer, last year alone, Walmart donated more than $50,000 across the state of New York in cash and in-kind donations in the fight against hunger. Donations by Walmart helped feed over 35,000 people.
Additionally, this year, the state is proud to partner with the Community Service Society of New York to distribute turkeys and other foods statewide. The Community Service Society has worked for over 175 years to implement solutions to help low-income New Yorkers find a path out of economic hardship. CSS works with both the public and private sectors to create opportunity for every New Yorker so that they can take care of their families and loved ones.
Coca-Cola has also donated $13,000 to help feed 5,000 families across New York. It donated $10,000 to the Community Service Society to purchase turkeys.
As another part of this partnership, upstate New York-based Wegmans donated meals to feed more than 1,400 New Yorkers in Western and Central New York. Through company donations and customer checkout scanning campaigns, Wegmans has given and raised more than $3.6 million in 2020 – the equivalent of 1,855,670 meals – for its food bank and pantry partners in New York.
HelloFresh has donated 8,000 meals to provide a full, traditional Thanksgiving dinner to veterans across New York City. HelloFresh's Thanksgiving donation is an additional $20,000 above the $500,000 donation provided over the past six months to feed veterans and their families.
Finally, the National Supermarket Association and Stew Leonard's have also made donations to help feel people across the state.
Director of Public Affairs for Walmart in New York Jason Klipa said, "2020 has been a difficult year for New Yorkers, and Walmart is proud to help Gov. Cuomo make some families Thanksgiving brighter with a holiday meal."
Community Service Society of New York President and CEO of David R. Jones said, "As the coronavirus continues to take a disproportionate toll on our most vulnerable citizens, triggering a rise in food and housing insecurity in many communities, the Community Service Society is proud to partner with New York state to help deliver warm meals to needy families this Thanksgiving. I want to thank Gov. Cuomo for leading this effort, and the participating groups for ensuring that thousands of families across the state don't go hungry this holiday."
Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages co-owner Paul Mulligan said, "We are proud to support Gov. Cuomo's efforts to make the Thanksgiving holiday special for New York families. This year has presented unprecedented challenges for many families across the state and it is a priority and part of our company's mission to give back to the local communities we serve every day."
HelloFresh CEO Uwe Voss said, "Sharing a meal with loved ones is a Thanksgiving tradition. As part of our ongoing commitment to Gov. Cuomo's Nourish New York program, we are proud to provide veterans and food insecure families with fresh ingredients to make a full Thanksgiving feast."
Wegmans Community Relations Manager Linda Lovejoy said, "We're committed to reducing hunger and giving back to the communities where our customers and employees live and work. Through this initiative, we're able to deliver on that commitment and help ensure families have a warm meal to gather around during this special time of year."
National Supermarket Association President William Rodriguez said, "We are proud to partner with New York state to help families create special memories this Thanksgiving. This year has brought challenges for many New Yorkers and it is our honor and joy to assist them in this time. We are committed to reducing food insecurity and giving back to our local communities, offering an opportunity to make a difference in their lives and continue to service our mission to empower them."
Stew Leonard's President and CEO Stew Leonard Jr. said, "In these difficult times, every turkey counts. Our Stew Leonard's family was happy to help."