The event was highlighting both organizations’ efforts to provide food access to DREAM’s communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ceremony was part of the Mayoral Service Recognition Program, which was developed to honor community-based organizations, businesses, youth, and residents for their immeasurable commitment to service across the city.
“Service is what makes New York the city that it is, and, throughout the past two years, service has mattered more than ever,” said Mayor Adams. “Service has made our communities stronger and played a vital role in helping our city respond to and recover from the pandemic, and I want to thank every New Yorker who has served our city and helped their neighbors. And I know that by continuing to serve, we will move forward and ‘Get Stuff Done’ for New York.”
Founded as a volunteer little league in 1991, DREAM now serves more than 2,000 children through its network of extended-day, extended-year public charter schools and community-based youth programming in East Harlem and the South Bronx.
Recognizing that DREAM’s families would be among the most affected when the pandemic hit New York City in 2020, S. Katzman Produce—assisted by DREAM staff and volunteers—donated and helped to distribute more than 10,000 bags of fresh fruit and produce to DREAM’s families via regular food distributions during the pandemic’s first year.
Continuing into 2021, these distributions have leveraged DREAM’s ability to expand its family engagement practices—a core pillar of the organization’s Grow the Whole Child model—and its overall pandemic relief efforts.
“DREAM is incredibly grateful to be able to shine a light on all the work S. Katzman Produce has done for our communities throughout the pandemic,” said Richard Berlin, DREAM’s co-Chief Executive Officer. “Their partnership, swift mobilization, and acts of service through the past two years provided our families with a sense of security and allowed us to further commit to the health and wellness of our students. Stefanie Katzman and the Katzman team continue to champion food access for the communities who need it most and we are proud to partner with them.”
Stefanie Katzman, Executive Vice President of S. Katzman Produce and fourth generation in her family’s business, is a longtime supporter of DREAM and was named to the organization’s League of Women in 2020.
Over the next two years, her commitment to the organization continued to grow via the food distribution partnership and her advocacy for food access across New York City.
This past April, she was appointed to serve as a member of DREAM’s Board of Directors.
“Our mission is to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables for New Yorkers,” Katzman said. “It’s a privilege to partner with DREAM to feed the students and their families, introduce children to fresh fruits and vegetables at an early age, and instill good eating habits early to promote good health.”a
To view the Mayoral Service Recognition Ceremony below:
Originally founded as Harlem RBI, DREAM traces its beginnings to 1991, when a group of volunteers transformed an abandoned, garbage-strewn lot into two baseball diamonds for the youth of East Harlem.
Thirty years later, the organization serves thousands of children across East Harlem and the South Bronx through a network of free, extended-day, extended-year DREAM Charter Schools and community sports-based youth development programs.
By developing a whole child model that is responsive to the unique academic and social needs of every child, DREAM is creating a future where all children are equipped to fulfill their vision of success.
For more information on DREAM and its mission, visit www.wearedream.org.
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