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Mayor de Blasio Announces Initiative with the Debra and Leon Black Family to Provide Care Packages to Over 100,000 Healthcare Professionals

April 7, 2020

Mayor’s Fund for New York City partners with Debra and Leon Black Family, Aramark, Robin Hood, and the American Red Cross

NEW YORK—Today, Mayor de Blasio announced the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City is partnering with the Debra and Leon Black Family, Robin Hood, Aramark, and the American Red Cross to launch “NYC Healthcare Heroes,” a city-wide philanthropic program to support the heroic efforts of more than 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals on the front lines combatting COVID-19. The program will provide at least 300,000 and up to 500,000 packages of food, household cleaning and personal care products, and more to staff at hospitals across the City.

“This virus is pushing the limits of our hospital system, but it is also showing the extraordinary kindness and resilience of the brave healthcare workers who make it run,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “We will never be able to repay our debt of gratitude to them, but on behalf of 8.6 million New Yorkers, I thank the Black Family and Aramark for joining together with Robin Hood and the American Red Cross to support our heroic hospital staff and healthcare professionals.”

"We are extremely grateful for the angels of philanthropy who have come together to support New York City's hard laboring medical professionals as they continue to serve our city and put the needs of our families, friends and neighbors above their own. We must assist them in every way we can," said First Lady Chirlane McCray. "These resources will help sustain our healthcare heroes and their families, and we thank our partners for their cooperation and bountiful support.”

Debra and Leon Black said, “The selfless medical professionals and hospital staff combatting this public health crisis, especially those working tirelessly at the epicenter of the outbreak in New York City, need our support now more than ever. As lifelong and proud New Yorkers, we are honored to do our part to recognize, help and thank our healthcare heroes and their loved ones.

To launch this program, the Black Family has committed $20 million, including an initial $10 million donation to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, and plans to match any additional donations up to $10 million, bringing the total possible raise to at least $30 million. Robin Hood will manage receipt of matching 501(c)(3) donations. To learn more or to donate, visit

Aramark is donating labor to provide procurement, assembly and delivery services. Red Cross volunteers will coordinate with Aramark to distribute the packages to hospital staff. The packages will be provided to the more than 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals and volunteers heading home to their families at the end of their shifts, with deliveries staggered to accommodate all staffing schedules. Select items in the first bag include energy drinks, pasta, soups, macaroni and cheese, nutrition bars, disinfectant, hand lotion, toilet paper, toothpaste, sanitizers, vitamins and Tylenol.

“Our healthcare professionals are working around the clock to take care of us,” said Peter Hatch, COVID-19 Public-Private Partnership Czar.  “Our partnership with the Black Family, Aramark, Robin Hood and the American Red Cross is an impactful way to show our gratitude and support them during this challenging time.”

"Our brave and dedicated healthcare workers are in the fight of their lives right now, and having the food and supplies to sustain them for the work ahead is critical," said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. "We are deeply grateful to the Black Family and to our partners at Aramark, Robin Hood, and the American Red Cross for this vital program." 

John Zillmer, Chief Executive Officer of Aramark, said, “We are pleased to join the Black Family, the Red Cross, Robin Hood and the City in supporting the healthcare heroes of NYC during this critical time.” Zillmer added, “One of Aramark’s core values is a selfless passion for serving others. Throughout our 84-year history, we have worked to build stronger communities, especially during times of crisis and natural disaster, when there are urgent needs. We are proud to lead this effort, which would not be possible without the tremendous effort of our incredible Aramark team.” 

“Robin Hood is honored to be part of this NYC Healthcare Heroes initiative, supporting the essential healthcare workers making great sacrifices on behalf of themselves and their families as they serve New Yorkers in the midst of this crisis,” said Wes Moore, Chief Executive Officer of Robin Hood. “We will continue to do all that we can to support vulnerable New Yorkers who have been hit especially hard by this crisis, including through this innovative partnership combining the Black Family’s generous philanthropy, Aramark’s on the ground efforts, and working with the Mayor’s Fund to meet this critical need.”

“The American Red Cross is pleased to be working closely with the Black Family and Aramark to administer this valuable food program to the more than 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals,” said Gail McGovern, president and chief executive officer, American Red Cross. “This is a time where our nation needs to come together in support of our healthcare heroes, and providing food and supplies for them and their families is one of the many ways we can thank them for their critical service.”

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