COVID-19: Now is the time to help!

We're the lifeline for 15,000 families. Now.

For more than 28 years, RIVER FUND has been the lifeline for families facing death and dying. Initially, we focused on homes affected by the sudden and unprecedented outbreak of AIDS. Back then, it didn’t even have a name yet.

Eventually, as solutions came along to support people with AIDS, another crisis started to take hold in our communities: Despite being the wealthiest city in the world, and in the midst of galloping national prosperity in the mid-1990s, New Yorkers were going hungry—in ever-increasing numbers and in the most unexpected places. RIVER FUND launched mobile operations and showed up for them—in their neighborhoods.

As the crisis deepened, following the Great Recession of 2007/2008, four-in-ten New York families found themselves in poverty. RIVER FUND quickly became the largest free-food outlet in the City. Then came Superstorm Sandy in 2012—and RIVER FUND was the very first emergency response program in the flood zones—arriving less than 24 hours after the hurricane made landfall and helping tens of thousands of families during those bleak days.

The poor in New York City have never quite recovered from the massive disruption and displacement caused by that disaster and the financial crisis: According to The Mayor’s Office of Economic Empowerment, by 2019, some 63% of New Yorkers were living in material hardship—19% in deep poverty, and 44% near poverty. RIVER FUND’s client base totaled more than 15,000 families in 2019.

Now, those same families are facing COVID-19. The demand for our services has already increased dramatically. RIVER FUND remains 100% operational in this crisis—and we are responding to the needs of our clients as they change with this evolving tragedy. We are standing with our neighbors. We need you to stand with us. Thank you.

It's food and everything else. What can you do?
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RIVER FUND operates as navigators to help families through the maze of more than 140 different anti-poverty programs to find the small handful that specifically matches their unique circumstance. Every family’s situation is different. Every person in the family faces the impact of poverty in a different way. Battling poverty on the frontline involves tackling both individual needs AND supporting the family as a whole.

Since 1991, RIVER FUND has been perfecting the skill of guiding individuals and families from despair and frustration to hope. Our methods work, and we have established one of the most effective models for poverty combat in New York City—from hunger support, to benefits access, and through a unique “cradle to college initiative” to finally break the multi-generational cycle of poverty that has made material hardship the most heartbreaking part of our great City’s reality for more than 50 years.

© 2012 The River Fund New York - All Rights Reserved