Toyota and Food Bank For New York City Partner on Meals Per Hour To Support Communities Hard-Hit by Hurricane Sandy


hurricane sandy (select to view enlarged photo)

NEW YORK--April 1, 2013: Toyota and Food Bank For New York City today announced Meals Per Hour, a partnership to support a soup kitchen and a mobile food unit in communities severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy -- Coney Island and the Far Rockaways. The initiative is led by the Toyota Production System Support Center, Inc. (TSSC), which shares Toyota manufacturing know-how with nonprofits to help improve lives. A short video about Meals Per Hour can be viewed at Meals Per Hour .

“Hurricane Sandy changed the profile of the people who use our services and the demand for food on Coney Island and in Far Rockaway is still very high”

Over an eight-week period, a team from Toyota will collaborate with staff at Coney Island Lighthouse Community Kitchen, a soup kitchen in Coney Island and Metro World Child, a mobile food distribution unit in the Far Rockaways, to help improve their operations, with a focus on reducing wait times so they may serve more people.

Meals Per Hour is not the first time Toyota and Food Bank For New York City have joined forces. In 2011, Toyota began its partnership with Food Bank For New York City to provide the necessary tools for soup kitchens and food pantries across New York City to streamline their operations, maximize their resources -- and more importantly -- reduce customers' wait time. The results at five agencies were very positive; the outside line at Food Bank For New York City's Community Kitchen & Food Pantry in West Harlem decreased from 1.5 hours to just 18 minutes. In all, TSSC has worked with nearly 200 companies and organizations for over 20 years.

"At Toyota, we believe that when you share good ideas, great things can happen," said Lisa Richardson, Toyota process improvement leader. "We were struck by how many people on Coney Island and in Far Rockaway were still struggling to get back on their feet nearly six months after Hurricane Sandy. Meals Per Hour gives us an opportunity to help by donating our know-how with the Coney Island Light House Community Kitchen and Metro World Child mobile food unit. By working together to help more families get their basic needs met, we hope to make a huge difference in improving lives."

"Hurricane Sandy changed the profile of the people who use our services and the demand for food on Coney Island and in Far Rockaway is still very high," said Margarette Purvis, president and CEO of Food Bank For New York City. "Organizations like Coney Island Lighthouse Community Kitchen and Metro World Child are more important than ever. That's why we are so excited to welcome the team from Toyota. If we can make our lines move more quickly and get more food to those who need it, we can ease some of the burden on community members and support them as they rebuild their lives."

Mini-Documentary and Social Media Campaign To Inspire Conversation

Supermarche, the production company helmed by award-winning filmakers Rel Schulman and Henry Joost, creators of the feature films Catfish and Paranormal Activity, will produce a short five-minute film on Meals Per Hour that will chronicle the work of the Toyota team and Food Bank For New York City staff as well as its impact on community members.

In addition to Supermarche, four social influencers, each from a different lifestyle sector and each with their own significant following, will serve as ambassadors by documenting the project on MealsPerHour.com and through Twitter chats and "Blog Hops", which is when several bloggers raise awareness of a particular issue by linking to each other's posts about the same topic. The Meals Per Hour ambassadors are:

  • Vera Sweeney, Lady and the Blog: A New York-based mother of two and one of the nation's best-known mom bloggers;
  • Sian Pierre Regis, Swagger New York + MTV Act: Founder and editor-in-chief of Swagger New York and contributor for MTV Act;
  • Migdalia Rivera, Latina on a Mission + Stiletto Media: A New Yorker, single mother of two, and popular Hispanic blogger; and
  • Mary Catherine Brouder: Documentarian and journalist with a focus on human rights, who has reported for CNN, CBS, IFC, PBS, among others.

About The Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC)

The Toyota Production System Support Center (TSSC) is a not for profit corporation affiliated with Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. (TEMA). Established in 1992, TSSC shares Toyota's production system knowledge with North American manufacturing companies and other community organizations. In 2011, TSSC became a not for profit in order to donate on-site support to help worthy nonprofits maximize their impact. Since its inception, nearly 200 organizations have benefited from TSSC's services. TSSC's team is comprised of team members from Toyota manufacturing affiliates in North America and from TEMA headquarters in Erlanger, KY. To learn more about TSSC please visit tssc.com.

About Food Bank For New York City

Food Bank For New York City recognizes 30 years as the city's major hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. As the city's hub for integrated food poverty assistance, Food Bank tackles the hunger issue on three fronts -- food distribution, income support and nutrition education -- all strategically guided by its research. Through its network of approximately 1,000 community-based member programs citywide, Food Bank helps provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank's hands-on nutrition education program in the public schools reaches thousands of children, teens and adults. Income support services including food stamps, free tax assistance for the working poor and the Earned Income Tax Credit put millions of dollars back in the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, helping them to achieve greater dignity and independence. Learn how you can help at Food Bank NYC .

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