— 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 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.” www.patch.com/new-york/bed-stuy/
BKReader, 4/20/21 –
Since the start of the pandemic, the organization has donated more than 20 million meals to New Yorkers in need.
The Campaign Against Hunger is moving from an emergency space it took over at the height of the pandemic, that was donated to the nonprofit by Broadway Stages. With the lease up on the location, the organization has moved to the Berriman St building while it finds a permanent location.
“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,” the organization said in a statement. www.bkreader.com
Dr. Melony Samuels serves as the founder and executive director of The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH, formerly Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger), a community based service organization in Brooklyn, NY. She is responsible for daily operations, vision planning, and resource management for TCAH. She is known for her grassroots efforts to address hunger, poverty, and health in the Brooklyn communities of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ocean Hill and Brownsville, an area that constitutes a “food desert” where access to healthy and nutritious food is limited. As a result, many residents suffer from obesity and related chronic diseases. Prior to founding TCAH, Dr. Samuels worked in the insurance industry and was the Chief Administrator for the Full Gospel Tabernacle of Faith church in Brooklyn, working extensively on strategic management, proposal writing, event planning, and business development.
In 1998, she founded a small, traditional food pantry located in a church basement. The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH) grew out of this effort, formally becoming a nonprofit in 2005. Today. the organization provides services to over 300,000 unique individuals each year.
While Dr. Samuels helps to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition, her organization has gone beyond the traditional role of a food pantry—offering education on health-conscious food choices, food preparation techniques, exercise and healthy lifestyles to a client base that is nearly a quarter diabetic.
Her work has made dramatic strides in helping to eliminate hunger and food insecurity in Central Brooklyn, and she provides some of our city’s neediest citizens with good nutrition, improving their health and overall well-being. New York City is one of the richest cities in the world, but food poverty and nutrition–related poor health is around every corner.
Founded in 2005, TCAH has since expanded beyond the SuperPantry service to include mobile pantries, which reach the South Bronx, the Rockaways and all of Brooklyn, two robust Urban Agro-Ecological Centers, a social services office, a community kitchen and nutrition education hub, and a youth and leadership development program.
Dr. Samuels’ philosophy is that only through strong partnerships can lasting change arise. She has lived this vision by forming and presiding over the Bed-Stuy Providers Network, a collaborative group of 18 emergency feeding programs in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community. She sat on the Strategy Council of the Food Bank of New York, the Advisory Committee of City Harvest, the Council on Hunger and Food Policy, the Steering Committee for both the Manhattan Borough President and the Politics of Food Conference, and she currently serves on the Vital Brooklyn Initiative Committee. Dr. Samuels also maintains close working relationships with the National Food Bank, Hunger Free America, and the New York City Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH).
Dr. Samuels’ vision, resourcefulness and grassroots activism made her an ideal recipient for many awards, prizes (inlcuding theTisch Community Health Prize)( and grants and donations to the Campaign.
She received her doctorate in Religious Education from the Christian Outreach Bible College and Theological Seminary in Fayetteville, North Carolina. www.tcahnyc.org