Today, Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum visited the Holy Apostles Episcopal Church to participate in the 9/11 Day of Remembrance and Commitment to Service--initiated this year by the First Lady and President Obama. She was joined by Kevin Concannon, the chief Obama Administration official in charge of USDA anti-hunger programs; Sen. Charles E. Schumer; Councilmembers Bill de Blasio and Eric Gioia, and Joel Berg of the NYCCAH, which organized the event. In her remarks, Public Advocate Gotbaum said:
Good afternoon, everyone. I’m pleased to be at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, a wonderful organization and emergency food provider. And I want to thank Joel Berg and the New York City Coalition Against Hunger for honoring the first official Day of Remembrance and Commitment to Service.
Today is a day of sadness and reflection for New Yorkers, and all Americans.
I remember this day, eight years ago. All New Yorkers came together. Today calls for that kind of moment again. The President and First Lady have made a national call to service, and we should respond enthusiastically.
In 2008, there were nearly 40 million Americans in poverty—a 13.2% poverty rate, up from 12.5%; and there were over 46 million people without health insurance, up from 45.7 million.
, there are more than 1,200 soup kitchens and food pantries, and they need more help—in particular, skills-based volunteers to address management and organizational challenges. New York
Today, Joel Berg and the NYCCAH have made it possible for people to do that. NYCCAH helps search for nearby neighborhood organizations, so they can support emergency food providers.
I’m glad to have served today and I encourage all New Yorkers to take advantage of opportunities like this one.