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FreshDirect Hosted Its “Give-Ember” 2021 Holiday Food Donation Extravaganza

Fresh Direct Turkey Distribution Fresh Direct turkey distribution at the Northeast Bronx YMCA, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Jason DeCrow for City Harvest)

With so many families hit hard economically by the pandemic, FreshDirect’s “Give-Ember” 2021 Holiday Food Donation Extravaganza came just in time. On November 22, City Harvest, hip-hop legend Slick Rick, DJ Chuck Chillout, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and other local elected officials came out in support and to help dish out food donations to locals. It took place at the Northeast Bronx YMCA.

Fresh Direct Turkey Distribution Fresh Direct turkey distribution at the Northeast Bronx YMCA, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Jason DeCrow for City Harvest)

“This year, the need for corporate assistance could not be greater. Providing assistance through charitable endeavors is just a small step that one can make to spread cheer during the holiday season.  It is our hope that through this joint effort, community members will be able to enjoy a good meal at Thanksgiving,” said Larry Scott Blackmon, Vice President of Public Affairs at FreshDirect.

The event was able to attract a diverse group of sponsors and supporters. “People contact us, which I am proud to say for two reasons,” Blackmon told New York Trend. “One, FreshDirect’s unwavering support of the NYC tri-state area especially regarding issues of hunger and food insecurity. And two, due to my community and social connections that help me to connect with great people like Slick Rick and more.”

Blackmon leads the Public Affairs division at FreshDirect, the leading e-commerce food grocer, expanding current partnerships, cultivating new relationships and serving as a key company spokesman. Larry is also the C.E.O. of the Blackmon Organization, a public affairs, political consulting firm.  He is a former candidate for New York City Council and has worked with a number of New York City’s elected officials, serving in the administrations of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Additionally, Blackmon has worked with former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, former City Council Speakers Christine Quinn and Gifford Miller and former City Council Member Kathryn Freed. He has also worked with many federal and state representatives, serving on the staffs of U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her 2000 Senate campaign.

Blackmon added, “Through my new role as the Outstanding Brother of the Year for the national chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha I know my holiday season will be full of giving and I could not be more proud to do so.”

Fresh Direct Turkey Distribution Fresh Direct turkey distribution at the Northeast Bronx YMCA, Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in New York. (Photo by Jason DeCrow for City Harvest)

The various partner contributions include:

  • 800 turkeys and tote bags from FreshDirect 
  • Holiday-inspired side dishes and fresh produce from City Harvest
  • Holiday-themed music entertainment provided by Grammy-nominated and legendary Hip Hop artist Slick Rick 

The involvement of Bronx resident Slick Rick will bring joy to Bronx ticket holders while presenting the Thanksgiving packages. “Tis the season to pour the love back into the community. Partnering once again with City Harvest and FreshDirect will remind the community that we are all in this together and that we all have the community in the North East Bronx’s back, front and side,” explains Slick Rick and The Victory Patch Foundation.

This is the seventh year that FreshDirect has hosted the annual Thanksgiving turkey donation event and the first time hosting the give-away in the NorthEast Bronx community.

FreshDirect is a leading online fresh food grocer, delivering directly to customers through-out seven states, including the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia. FreshDirect is committed to sourcing the freshest and best-tasting meat, fish, produce, and specialty items through direct relationships with suppliers, growers, and farmers. Launched in 2002 and headquartered in The Bronx, NY, FreshDirect is a great local brand, part of the Ahold Delhaize family of companies.

City Harvest is New York’s first and largest food rescue organization, helping to feed millions of New Yorkers who struggle to put meals on their tables. This year, we will rescue 109 million pounds of fresh, nutritious food and deliver it—free of charge—to more than 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, community partners and our own Mobile Markets across the five boroughs. We work alongside our community partners to boost community capacity, expand nutrition education, and strengthen local food systems. For more than 35 years, City Harvest has always been there to feed our city—one day, one meal, one New Yorker at a time.

Lasting four decades, six presidencies, and countless trends, Slick Rick endures as “the most sampled hip-hop artist in history” with Grammy Award nominations and numerous multi platinum albums to his name. It’s why he remains synonymous with rap music, culture, and fashion. Not only does he remain a pillar of the hip-hop community, but he also is entwined with the local and global communities. He co-sponsored The Bronx Youth Empowerment Program’s Christmas Charity Event for three years and fought homelessness alongside politicians in New York and Florida. He participated in’s “TRANS4M” concert, which benefited the “I.AM.ANGEL FOUNDATION” to the tune of $2.4 million. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture paid homage to him with a popular exhibition, and he claimed a place on The Bronx Walk of Fame as well as a street named after him in The Bronx. He works tirelessly against youth incarceration and poverty and supports children’s literacy initiatives and the current Black Lives Matter protests and movements.

Ruben Diaz Jr. first entered public office as a member of the New York State Assembly in 1997, and is currently serving his third full term as Bronx Borough President, having been reelected in November 2017 with more than 88 percent of the vote. Since taking office in 2009, Borough President Diaz has provided tens of millions in funding to projects of all types in every Bronx neighborhood, including new technology upgrades to borough schools, green roofs and boiler upgrades, park improvements and more. Prior to his current role, Borough President Diaz served seven terms in the State Legislature. In the State Assembly, Ruben Diaz Jr. served as Chair of the Committee on Election Law and on the Assembly’s Standing Committees on Education, Ways & Means, Children and Families, Environmental Conservation and Transportation. He was also a member of the Assembly’s Puerto Rican and Hispanic Task Force and the Black/Puerto Rican and Asian Legislative Caucus.

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.