Help Sought from Westchester Board of Legislators to Fight Hunger and Homelessness

Mount Vernon Mayor Addresses Legislators in White Plains

Mayor Richard Thomas joined today with Leslie Gordon, the chief executive officer of Feeding Westchester, and Amy Gelles, the chief executive officer of The Guidance of Westchester to ask the Westchester County Board of Legislators for additional funding to feed the hungry and house the homeless.

About 20 percent of Westchester residents experience food insecurity each year and that number jumps to almost 25 percent in Mount Vernon. There are 900 homeless youth in the city’s schools, which translates into roughly 300 families.

“I am here today to advocate for the most vulnerable among us,” Mayor Thomas said. “We all know that Mount Vernon cares for a disproportionate amount of Westchester County’s homeless and hungry population. This is a societal ill that must be fought. We cannot conquer this epidemic unless the County partners with us and provides strategic funding.”

This past Thanksgiving, Mount Vernon teamed up with Feeding Westchester to donate 1,000 turkey dinners to the city’s neediest families through funds made available from the federal government. Mount Vernon also distributed an additional 1,000 turkeys that were made possible by private donations.

Mount Vernon’s commitment to feeding nutritious meals to the hungry is 365 days a year. The additional funding sought from Westchester County would go to increase the support offered by the 13 food pantries already in operation across the city. The Guidance Center of Westchester is a site for one of the food pantries.

“There are a lot of people out there wondering where their next meal is coming from, where their heat is coming from, where their shelter is coming from,” the Mayor said. “I want to thank the county for always being a bridge making sure we get people, the most vulnerable among us, to the other side.”

Mayor Thomas was in White Plains to advocate for Mount Vernon as the legislators prepare the county’s 2019 budget.