Nonprofit Raises Over $167K to Help NY’s Struggling Street Food Vendors Feed the Hungry

Street Vendor

The Urban Justice Center, a nonprofit organization that supports New York’s marginalized groups through advocacy and legal representation, has been actively helping street food vendors get back on their feet while also feeding the hungry through its Street Vendor Project (SVP).

Thousands of free meals: With help from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation’s $100 million COVID-19 relief effort, the Urban Justice Center has paid over 90 vendors to donate free meals to food-insecure residents of the city, reported The Huffington Post.

  • Around 18,780 meals have been distributed at locations in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx since August 2020. 
  • Yue-Huan Jiang, who was forced to close her food truck due to the pandemic, was one of the vendors who prepared free meals in March.
  • “I sincerely thank this program for making it possible for me and my family to have some income as well as a chance to help our community,” Jiang was quoted as saying.

Educating vendors: In addition to providing financial and legal support, SVP also helps teach vendors about their legal rights and responsibilities. 

  • In February, SVP rolled out its Small Business Consultation Program to help struggling vendors, Eater reported.
  • SVP announced on its official Twitter account that it will provide “tools, resources & skills [for vendors] to grow their business, so they are empowered to make business decisions that will help them succeed.”

Impacting change: SVP now has over 2,000 vendor members working together to create a positive change for the community, according to Urban Justice.

  • To help even more vendors, the organization set up a GoFundMe campaign for its Street Vendor COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which has raised over $160,000 as of this writing. 
  • The campaign’s description noted that 90% of the SVP’s members are “low-wage immigrant workers who rely on busy streets in order to survive day to day.”
  • “Without a safety net to fall back on, they are forced to continue to work, risking their health and well-being in the process,” Urban Justice wrote.

Featured Image via Street Vendor Project

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