Leading Bronx Emergency Food Provider Breaks Ground on New Markets Tax Credit Funded Facility
Congressman Serrano, Deputy Mayor Gibbs and Council Member Rivera to Attend Groundbreaking Event
New Facility Will Serve 10,000 Bronx Residents Annually in the “Hungriest” District in the Nation
New York – May 17, 2010 – Part of the Solution (POTS), one of the first emergency food providers located in the Bronx, will break ground on a new facility Monday that will enable the organization to provide thousands more meals and services to Bronx residents in need. The construction of the facility was made possible through financing from the nonprofit community development financial institution Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), an investment from Chase and philanthropic support. The expanded POTS facility will serve more than 10,000 people annually and provide a greater array of community services, including medical and dental clinics, after school tutoring, a “supermarket” style food pantry and nutritional education.
Several public officials will appear at a groundbreaking event at the site of the new facility at 2761-2763 Webster Avenue in the Bronx at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 17, 2010 to highlight the importance of POTS’ work and public-private efforts to support low income communities. Public officials attending the event include US Congressman José E. Serrano of the Bronx, New York Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs, City Council Member Joel Rivera and City Council Member Annabel Palma.
“It is a great honor to be able to help POTS break ground on this new facility,” said Congressman José E. Serrano. “I am a proud supporter of the great work POTS does in our community and look forward to hearing of more successes as they transition into this new space. Our neighborhoods have been stricken by hunger for too long, but through POTS’ efforts, some of the suffering associated with it is lessened. We all must work to end hunger in our community and I can’t think of a better way than to support great organizations like this one.”
“In the past five years, the number of meals Part of the Solution’s (POTS’) emergency food programs provided went from 200,000 in 2005 to 330,000 last year driven largely by families requesting emergency groceries,” said Sr. Mary Alice Hannan, O.P., POTS’ executive director. “The new facility will not only allow POTS to feed more people, but it will enable the agency to expand its services to help families stabilize and improve their lives. Planned service improvements to POTS’ existing programs (community dining room, food pantry, public showers, mail, haircuts, clothing, legal eviction prevention and case management) include after school tutoring, cooking and nutrition classes, an onsite medical clinic, and conversion of the food pantry to a ‘grocery-store’ model.”
In addition to previous financing, LIIF recently provided an allocation of $8.8 million of New Markets Tax Credits for POTS’ new home. Chase provided $2.5 million as the equity investor in the transaction.
“Investing in solutions and opportunities for low income people and places is Low Income Investment Fund’s (LIIF) mission. No organization better exemplifies a good investment for LIIF than Part of the Solution,” said Nancy O. Andrews, president and CEO of LIIF. “New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) are an invaluable tool for community development financial institutions, like LIIF, to attract private capital to our nation’s distressed neighborhoods. Chase is a leader in investing in community development projects and has been a key partner for LIIF’s NMTC work.”
“We are committed to providing New Markets Tax Credit financing for projects that have a positive, sustainable impact on the communities where we do business,” said Priscilla Almodovar, chief operating officer of Chase Community Development Banking. “This new facility will provide the much-needed food service that this neighborhood deserves.”
This project could not come at a more critical time. New York’s 16th District, where POTS is located, has been named the “hungriest” in the nation in a recent study by the Washington, D.C.- based Food Research and Action Center. In the study, “Food Hardship: A Closer Look at Hunger,” nearly 37% of district residents reported that they did not have enough money to buy food in the last 12 months, the highest rate in the country.
# # #
Maureen Fergus Sheehan, Part of the Solution, (718) 213-0595, firstname.lastname@example.org
Samantha Hojo, Low Income Investment Fund, (415) 489-6113, email@example.com
Michael Fusco, Chase, (212) 270-5089, firstname.lastname@example.org