The Building and Realty Institute of Westchester (BRI) Raises Over $20,000 to Help Combat Hunger in Westchester County
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ARMONK, N.Y. – The Building and Realty Institute of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region (BRI), a trade organization representing 1,800 member businesses in the homebuilding, remodeling, real estate, and multifamily apartment building industries, recently raised over $20,000 for Feeding Westchester, the largest hunger relief organization in the county. The BRI pledged to match any donation made by its individual members to the fundraiser.
“As with the rest of the nation, Westchester County is experiencing unprecedented levels of economic turmoil,” BRI President Vincent Mutarelli said. “Many of our families, our tenants, our employees, and our neighbors find themselves food insecure in the wake of the pandemic and job or income loss, on top of the 1-in-5 residents of Westchester County who experienced food insecurity even before the pandemic hit. We pride ourselves on being community leaders and we knew we had to do something to help those in need.”
“Every day since March, the news carries more stories of our neighbors in need,” said Tim Foley, BRI’s Executive Director. “The national statistics found 17 million more Americans are struggling with food insecurity today than when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. Although there’s wide variation in how our members’ businesses have recovered, everyone felt the urgency to act.”
“In partnership with Feeding Westchester, we launched our first-ever online-only matching fund drive,” continued Foley. “We thought it might take us a month or so to reach our goal. Instead, we reached it in only 10 days!”
Feeding Westchester’s primary mission is to end hunger in Westchester County and is responsible for 95 percent of all donated food distributed throughout Westchester.
Since March, Feeding Westchester has distributed 9.7 million total pounds of food, 361,000 total pounds of produce, 67,000 pounds through its mobile food pantries, and 94,000 pounds through the Fresh Market initiative. The donations from BRI members, matched dollar for dollar by the trade association, will help bolster these efforts.
“It’s a vulnerable time for everyone, but we need to unite and support each other as much as we can,” Mutarelli said. “I’m very thankful that we have so many great members in our organization that are willing to help those who are less fortunate during an uncertain time like this. We are all dealing with our own set of struggles that the pandemic has brought on, but giving back to the community has always been a huge priority for us will continue to be going forward.”
The Building and Realty Institute of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region (BRI), based in Armonk, has more than 1,800 members in 14 counties of New York State, including home builders, commercial builders, renovators, property managing agents, co-op and condo boards, and owners of multifamily apartment buildings in many communities, as well as suppliers and service providers with a special focus on real estate. The BRI’s mission is to improve the relationships among builders and real estate business owners to the mutual advantage of the industry. For additional information, please visit https://www.buildersinstitute.org.