Launch of NYC Healthcare Heroes
Philanthropists Debra and Leon Black, and Aramark, have launched "NYC Healthcare Heroes" - a city-wide program to support over 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals currently combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Launched in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty fighting organization, and the American Red Cross, the program will distribute between 300,000 and 500,000 packages of shelf-stable food, household cleaning and personal care products; as well as over-the-counter medicine, to staff at hospitals across the five boroughs throughout June.
Kick started with a $20 million donation from the Black family that includes an initial sum of $10 million and a commitment to match additional donations up to the value of $10 million, the initiative will initially support the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City; with Robin Hood receiving matching 501(c)(3) donations. Apollo Global Management and its senior partners, as well as Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, have already pledged significant donations to the matching program.
Aramark is also donating labor to provide procurement, assembly and delivery services. Products to be distributed were selected based on the research and expertise of Aramark, which serves thousands of healthcare facilities across the globe. Red Cross volunteers will coordinate with Aramark to distribute the packages to hospital staff. With Robin Hood’s participation, hospital sites will be prioritized based on greatest need in coordination with the New York City Emergency Management Department (OEM) and the Greater New York Hospital Association.
Speaking at the program's launch, 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."
John Zillmer, Aramark CEO, said: "We are pleased to join the Black Family, Robin Hood, the City and the Red Cross in supporting the healthcare heroes of NYC during this critical time.
"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 help lead this effort, which would not be possible without the tremendous effort of our dedicated Aramark team."
New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, said: "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.
"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."
Wes Moore, Robin Hood CEO, said: "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.
"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."
Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross, added: "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.
"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."
Toya Williford, Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, also added: "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,"
"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."
The packages will be supplied to healthcare professionals and volunteers heading home to their families at the end of their shifts, with deliveries staggered to accommodate all staffing schedules.
They contain items including shelf-stable milk, energy drinks, pasta, tuna fish, peanut butter, ramen noodles, soups, macaroni and cheese, nutrition bars, disinfectant, hand lotion, toilet paper, toothpaste, sanitizers, vitamins and Tylenol. The program is adaptable and will include a mechanism to gather feedback, ensuring it meets the needs of hospital staff on an ongoing basis.
Distribution will follow personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing guidelines.
Donations of all sizes are encouraged, with every $30 donated supporting delivery of a package to a valued healthcare professional.
Please visit bit.ly/NYCHealthcareHeroes to donate.