Feeding the Five Boroughs

Thanksgiving Features

By Andrew Tang

Three thousand New York City families received turkey dinners this year through the good works of Feeding NYC, an organization founded by Rob LoCascio that is dedicated to feeding to the needy at Thanksgiving. These dinners were boxed at Pier 60, at Chelsea Piers, on Nov. 22, loaded into storage trucks and shipped across the five boroughs.

LoCascio, who is also the founder and chief executive of Live Person, a business communications company, says he started Feeding NYC as a response to the 9/11 attacks and decided to organize his employees to feed 40 families in 2001.

Eventually, the program expanded to directly feed 3,000 families and about 7,000 other families through support groups. LoCascio says he chose Thanksgiving because it’s an American tradition, whereas Christmas is more of a European one. He says he’s pleased so many people are willing to volunteer and help out.

After boxing the dinner, six trucks were loaded with the 3,000 dinners and sent off to different boroughs a little past noon. I went with 17 volunteers of the “Red Team,” all of them British Airways employees. We distributed our 470 boxes to three community centers in Brooklyn, a total of about 18,000 pounds being moved back and forth from the trucks.

One recipient of a turkey dinner, who gave his name only as Andre, says he is a single dad who works as a security guard and lives with his daughter. Without the turkey dinner, Andre says, “I would have tried to attend another family member’s Thanksgiving, but now with this dinner, I might just make my own.”

He intends to teach his young daughter about the deed of giving back. “I was teaching my daughter about this last night,” he recalls. ”If you had a turkey a farm, it’s much better to give than be greedy. After you sold to companies, and warehouses, after you turn around, what do you do with the rest of your turkeys? You give them away to the people in need. Shelters, the homeless, Community centers, people than can’t afford these things.”