Maribel is a lifelong New York City resident, having spent most of her time in the Bronx. After getting injured on the job, Maribel is no longer able to work. “Before I got hurt, I was much stronger, and now, because of my injury, I can’t exercise.” In May 2022, Maribel was diagnosed with diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. With her diagnosis, it became crucial for Maribel to eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. “With the supermarkets…the prices are so high. How am I supposed to stay healthy and lose weight when I can’t afford to buy healthy food?”
This past summer, Maribel’s friend told her about the BronxWorks Community Food Pantry. She started coming to the pantry to help supplement her groceries with healthy food options. “I need fresh produce because the canned products are so salty and I have to be careful with salt,” Maribel says. “They give me vegetables, fish, things I can’t afford at the supermarket.” Maribel’s story is common to many Bronx residents facing a lack of resources to improve their health outcomes.
For many years, including through the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, BronxWorks has added programs to address food insecurity. In addition to the Community Food Pantry, BronxWorks Older Adult Centers offer regular grab and go pantries, and every summer and fall BronxWorks operates two Farm Stands selling fresh produce at reasonable prices. For Maribel, the Community Food Pantry has become a crucial part of her health intervention. “It’s a lifeline for me,” she says.
The BronxWorks Emergency Fund can assist Bronx individuals like Maribel with extra resources to ensure they can live and lead healthy lives.