Updates From Staten Island Hunger Task Force, Including Results Of Surveys, Next Meeting Scheduled For Tonight


MONDAY: March 6th, 2023 Meeting 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Zoom

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Meeting ID: 840 3294 8142

Passcode: 631985

Dial In Number: (929) 205-6099

Tentative Agenda

Acceptance of previous meeting’s minutes

Reports on the Legislative Forum

Reports from Committees

Discussion on what constitutes membership

Presentation by Ruben Sibri on the State Food Insecurity Report

Minutes from February 2023 Meeting

In Attendance: Joe Magliocco (Jacob’s Well), Andrew Fairley (Project Hospitality), Luann Martin (TLC), Susan Fowler ( Christ Church), Donna Scimeca (CSI), Michael Matthews (SI PPS), Alemaheyu Ayele (NYC CHR), Laura Jean Watters (SI Foundation), Terry Troia(Project Hospitality), Juan Fernandez NYC CHR), George Barreto (CHASI), Cindy Roberti, Gloria Lavine (Prince Bay Reformed/SI Council of Churches), Ruben (Comptroller DiNapoli’s Office)., Shakeia McPherson, Mina Shafik, Heather Butts (Health for Youths), Danielle Parks, Lynnell Bruno (Catholic Charities), Jean-Paul Murphy (Cabrini Health Foundation), Tami DiCostanzo (RSVP/Serve), Teisha Diallo (CHASI), Rev. Carter (Stapleton UAME Church), Joseph Tornello (Meals on Wheels), Alex Hughes (Project Hospitality), Delila Nadal ( SI Community Partnership), and Carol Placido. Chris Dowling, Co chair excused as he was on vacation.

Introductions and Contact Sharing Via Chat

Minutes Reviewed and Approved

Chair Terry Troia welcomed everyone and announced she was hosting the meeting from Stapleton UAME food pantry.

Motion to receive minutes moved by Cindy Roberti, Joe Magliocco seconded. No one opposed or abstained, minutes passed unanimously.

Election of the Secretary

Heather Butts gave a brief verbal resume of her qualifications to be secretary. She is an Assistant Professor at Columbia University and practices law. She did her undergraduate work at Princeton University and her Masters at Harvard University. She also did a Masters in Education at Columbia University. She served as a consultant for a few years then advocate for people in research studies. On Staten Island she runs Health for Youths, working with 91 partner organization and serving 7,000 students a year.

Secretary clarified as a person that can not only take the minutes but can, review minutes taken by support staff or interns and then move that minutes be approved.. In the past there was a corresponding and recording secretary. Those two positions have been folded into one position. Also the secretary approves any official correspondence from the Task Force in conjunction with chair and vice chair.

Motion to elect Heather Butts secretary made by Susan Fowler, seconded by Joe Magliocco. All in favor, none opposed, no abstentions. Heather Butts officially elected as Secretary.

Dr. Butts is excited to be secretary as this work is near and dear to her heart and she does a lot of food insecurity work through her work at Columbia University.

Donna Scimeca informed the group that 10 candidates have been selected by CSI to work with Dr. Butts in preparing the meeting minutes.

Four committees met last month: Food for All, Data Committee, Governance Committee, Executive Committee. Here are their reports:

Food for All Report: Legislative Forum

Legislative forum date set for 21st Feb at 4PM on Zoom. It has been confirmed assemblyman Pirozzolo and Senator Scarcella-Spanton will be joining us. We have also proposed to Kate McKenzie for her to join us as the key speaker for the forum. She is set for that day to accommodate President’s Day and Ash Wednesday in that week.

At our meeting in January, we received a legislative update from City Harvest staffer, Jerome Nathaniel.

Data Committee Report

Andrew Fairley gave a presentation on data gathered by the survey in preparation for the Legislative Forum. He shared his spreadsheet with the group, the data was discussed, and corrections were made. A more finalized version will be presented by the Vice Chair during the legislative forum. Members were reminded to answer the survey if they have not done so. The most helpful metrics were clarified to the group.

A note was made that some pantries are extremely hesitant to report their numbers. Chair Terry explained that some pantries have specific missions and populations to serve and as such will not want their services advertised.

Governance Committee Report

Susan Fowler delivered the report.

The group discussed the possibility of filing as a 501c3 nonprofit and what that would allow the task force to accomplish.

The committee is working on bylaws, including membership roles. Who is a member, who is a voting member, what these roles entail. Committee will report more at a later date.

Jean-Paul Murphy asked for more details and Susan Fowler clarified that a Governance meeting is to be set to discuss more details. It was outlined that there are bylaws that need to be reviewed.

Executive Committee Report (Terry Troia, Chris Dowling, Susan Fowler)

The Executive Committee met prior to the full Task Force meeting to plan on asking participants to come to next month;s general meeting after thinking about what it means to be members of the task force. How do we define members, do we vote as a pantry, how do those votes count? How do votes count for people who represent themselves as individuals? Are we going to be a 501c3 or 501c4, both, or neither? This will be discussed in depth during our March meeting.

Andrew Fairley outlined that the easiest way to reflect on membership is to consider what members should give to the task force and what members should get from the task force.

New Business

Foodbank NYC Food Summit (February 1 at the Mariott Marquis)

Chair Terry Troia gave a report.

Staten Island had about 15 people representing Staten Island including: CHASI Pantry, Project Hospitality Pantry, Catholic Charities Pantry, COJO/Igud Pantry, SI JCC Pantry, New Directions Pantry and Stapleton UAME Pantry. The floor was opened for folks to share what they learned:

Alex Hughes shared that it was a great experience to have the forum in person. Many workshops were impactful, especially regarding community gardening initiatives.

Teisha Diallo shared that the connections made at the forum, as well as the discussion of the challenges faced by island pantries, were extremely helpful in addressing our communities food insecurity needs.

Lynnell Bruno shared that it was important to be able to voice common concerns about stretched funding and food inflation costs, she shared it is good to know that she is not alone in her struggle and that the Food Bank is working on addressing these issues.

Rev. Buford Carter shared that the forum really helped him understand how bad the food shortage issues are in NYC, as well as how many people are involved in addressing food insecurity issues in the city. He felt re-energized in his work because of the forum.

Chair Rev. Troia expressed the importance of communicating with our elected officials about these conditions and to become involved civically. She invited everyone to attend a redistricting hearing via Zoom this evening to better understand how these issues affect our work.

Chair Terry Troia offered a virtual tour of the Stapleton UAME Food Pantry with Rev. Carter.

Ruben Sibri from Comptroller DiNapoli’s Office Presents on Food Insecurity Report

Ruben shared information on the series of poverty reports released by his office. The food insecurity report will be released soon. He is looking to organize an event to see how these reports affect Staten Island. He will be on the agenda for the next meeting and will bring some of his previous reports. Chair Terry encouraged Ruben to get info to Andrew before next meeting.

Next Month’s Agenda

We will have a discussion about: “Who comprises the membership of the Task Force?”

Meeting Closing and Surprise Announcement:

Stapleton UAME Church Awarded BEST Soup Kitchen & Food Pantry 2023 by Foodbank NYC!

Video was shared of the Foodbank NYC Food Summit. Great congratulations to Stapleton UAME!

Banner Image: Hunger and Homelessness in the city. Image Credit – Max Böhme


SI Hunger Task Force

The SI Hunger Task Force is not a pantry. Instead, we connect community members to pantries and pantries to community and government resources.

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