Supports and Services
When chapters support people with I/DD, staff, and community members to volunteer together to address challenges in the community, everybody wins. The community receives support and assistance from eager volunteers ready to make a difference; people with I/DD get the opportunity to learn new skills and make new friends in the community; and community members learn about the value that people with I/DD bring to their community.
In this session, staff from AHRC New York City will share about a new and innovative model that they have developed in the Bushwick, Lower East Side, and Crown Heights neighborhoods to address food insecurity. This model engaged local restaurants, community partners, and organizations to gather food donations, rescue excess food, and raised awareness of the 1.4 million New York City residents who rely on emergency food programs, including soup kitchens and food pantries.
Components of this model include:
• Development and convening of a representative planning team of self-advocates, direct service providers, and supervisors to lead the initiative at the chapter
• Engagement of local restaurants and community partners and organizations (e.g. Rescuing Leftover Cuisine (RLC’s), Meals on Wheels and the Food Bank for New York City) to develop and implement a pipeline for food to get to people who are food insecure
• Implementation of a new food justice initiative, supported by volunteers with and without disabilities, focused on food donations, rescuing excess food, and raising awareness about food insecurity.
In this session, our speakers will:
• Provide an overview of the model that AHRC NYC created and the impetus for developing this food justice model
• Share their experiences in organizing community-building and volunteer initiatives, and for involving all stakeholders in the visioning, planning, and outreach to create an effective initiative
• Provide tips and strategies to the audience on how to develop initiatives and model that are led by stakeholders
• Discuss how these initiatives supported the organizations mission to serve people with I/DD incorporating volunteerism efforts into personalized goals and activities for people with disabilities that AHRC NYC supports
• Discuss how this effort has led the organization to reframe its understanding of volunteerism in the organization and its new plans for incorporating volunteerism initiative as an ongoing grassroots effort of AHRC NYC.