By Sasha Gonzales
Hundreds of Bronx residents lined up for free fruits and vegetables on East 161st Street Thursday—a sign of continuing food insecurity, and the dearth of fresh produce, in New York City’s most impoverished borough.
The line of Bronxites, which surpassed 300 at various times throughout the afternoon, stretched three city blocks for the “Green Sidewalk” food giveaway. Among the items handed out by volunteers from the Food Bank For New York City: green squash, apples, cantaloupe, oranges, and iceberg lettuce.
The eight-week program began in April and continues every Thursday from noon to 5 p.m. through June 20. City residents can pick up food at 198 E. 161st St., across from the Bronx Hall of Justice, on those dates.
Research shows more than 26 percent of Bronx residents experience food insecurity—defined as being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
That percentage places the borough among the hungriest counties in the country, according to Hunger Free America, a national nonprofit group working to end domestic hunger.
The number includes more than 20 percent of all Bronx children, nearly 17 percent of working adults, and almost 24 percent of seniors, according to federal data analyzed by the group.
About 82 Percent of the borough’s emergency food programs reported an increase in people served last year, the group said.
The Green Sidewalk program is also organized by NeON Nutrition Kitchen and the city’s Department of Probation.
For more information call 718-802-4500.