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Mayor de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray Announce Food for Heroes Campaign to Support Workers on the Frontlines of the COVID-19 Crisis

April 22, 2020

Grammy-winning artist Jason Mraz lends his new song, "Look for the Good" to the initiative 

NEW YORK—Today, Mayor de Blasio and First Lady McCray announced the launch of Food for Heroes, a program to support the healthcare professionals and essential staff working around-the-clock to fight the COVID-19 pandemic across the five boroughs. 

Managed by the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, the program will provide two meals per day for one month to 1,250 healthcare workers at Elmhurst Hospital, the facility hardest hit by COVID-19. The Mayor's Fund is also announcing a fundraising campaign to bring the program to additional sites where healthcare workers and essential staff are working or self-isolating. Grammy-winning artist and former New York City resident Jason Mraz's new song 'Look For The Good' will also serve as the soundtrack to the campaign to generate additional support. 

“During this time of unprecedented crisis, our city's healthcare workers and first responders have shown the world what it means to be a New Yorker. We are grateful for their sacrifice and service, and we thank our partners for generously supporting New York City's heroes,” said Mayor de Blasio. 

“Even when they feel anxious or fearful, and even as they care for their own families, New York City's healthcare and essential workers are showing up every day to care for New Yorkers and their families. We recognize the physical and emotional toll of longer hours and extra shifts, and we are grateful for the extraordinary work they are doing,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “As they care for our families, friends, and neighbors, we need to care for them as the true heroes they are. This campaign will help sustain and nourish these heroes as they save lives and keep our city safe.”

The program is part of the Mayor's Fund's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, which was activated on March 26 to support New Yorkers experiencing the unprecedented impact of the novel coronavirus. 

Food for Heroes follows the launch of other Mayor's Fund-supported initiatives that bring food and supplies to healthcare workers. Earlier this month, a vital partnership worth up to $30M between the Debra and Leon Black Family, Aramark, Robin Hood, and the American Red Cross began delivering up to 500,000 grocery bags of food, household cleaning and personal care products for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals across New York City.

Food for Heroes will safely deliver hot meals to New York City’s medical professionals and essential workers, nourishing and sustaining them for the fight ahead. These grab-and-go meals—costing approximately $10—will be provided to staff with the goal of rolling out the program to other sites where healthcare workers and essential staff are working or self-isolating as funds are raised. 

Food for Heroes is generously supported by initial funding from:

BNY Mellon
Cielo Foundation
Con Edison
Hill + Knowlton Strategies
Joe Gatto of Impractical Jokers
Joey and Meryl Levin
Marilyn Simons
Marshall Wace North America
Milk Makeup
New York Road Runners
Tishman Speyer

“I am honored to be lending 'Look For The Good' to this campaign to raise dollars for hot meals and awareness for our everyday heroes on the frontlines in the fight against COVID-19,” said Jason Mraz, Grammy-winning artist and former New York City resident. “I have lived in New York City on numerous occasions, most recently during my run on Broadway. I have many friends there. In every borough. From coffee shop owners to costumers, to musicians, teachers, techies, and administrators. New York City is a city of the people. Its diversity best represents the diversity of our own entire country; our capabilities and limitless possibilities. I am proud to serve through song and help the First Lady generate support for the fund.”

“Our health care system is incredibly grateful for the generous contribution made to support the front-line staff at Elmhurst Hospital, at the epicenter of this COVID-19 pandemic. We want to thank the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City for their commitment to provide meals to our heroic and dedicated workforce,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, President and CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals. “At NYC Health + Hospitals, we value each employee and their valiant efforts to save the lives of New Yorkers.”

“I want to thank First Lady Chirlane McCray, the Mayor, and Jason Mraz for bringing together New Yorkers and the business community to feed the City's essential workers,” said Peter Hatch, COVID-19 Public-Private Partnership Czar. “As the City continues to the weather this crisis, we will keep finding innovative ways to increase resources and assistance for our most vulnerable neighbors, and frontline workers.”

“The #FoodForHeroes campaign gives us a chance help take care of those who are taking care of us all,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, Senior Advisor to the Mayor for COVID-19 Relief. “Sometimes a hot meal at the end of a long shift can make all the difference, and I want to thank the thousands of New Yorkers who have already answered the call to provide this critical relief and invite others to join us in supporting our healthcare heroes.”

“To be a healthcare professional or essential worker in New York City during this unprecedented time is to wake up each day putting the wellbeing of 8.6 million of your neighbors before your own. These individuals are heroes in every sense of the word, and we owe them a monumental debt of gratitude," said Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City. “These brave professionals have forgone many comforts over the last several weeks. With our partners across the business community, and with the generosity of New Yorkers from all walks of life, we can begin to give our heroes back a small sense of comfort, one meal at a time.”

About the Mayor’s Fund:
The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York is a City-affiliated 501c(3) chaired by First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray that partners with 50 City agencies and offices, 300 institutional funders, and 100 community-based organizations to advance initiatives to benefit New Yorkers across the five boroughs. In particular, the Mayor's Fund has made strategic investments to promote mental health services for all New Yorkers, increase workforce development opportunities for young New Yorkers, and meet the needs of New York City's diverse immigrant community.

About Jason Mraz:
Jason Mraz is a two-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter and Songwriters Hall of Fame Honoree, most famously known by his hits, "I'm Yours" and "I Won't Give Up." He sits on the board of the ASCAP Foundation as well as his own Jason Mraz Foundation, which serves to shine for inclusive arts education and the advancement of equality. Established in 2015, Mraz Family Farms is committed to peace in the world through organic regenerative agriculture, fair trade, and kind words. Mraz's latest song, "Look For The Good," is the title track from his upcoming album out June 19th.

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