President and CEO, The Food Bank for Westchester
Considering that nine Westchester towns made Business Insider’s 2014 list of the 25 richest suburbs of New York City, it might surprise you to learn that one in five Westchester residents, or about 200,000 people, are food insecure, or unsure of how to find their next meal. Ellen Lynch is working to change that.
As president and CEO of the Food Bank for
Westchester, Lynch oversees the acquisition and redistribution of large quantities of food destined for food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, low-income daycare centers, and after-school programs.
“We need to get more people to understand the size and scope of this issue and the kind of impact it has, not just on food-insecure individuals but also the whole community,” she says.
Since taking the helm in 2013, after six years leading the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency, Lynch has focused her efforts on feeding the county’s most vulnerable citizens: seniors and children.
She started a mobile pantry unit, the Kraft Mobile Food Pantry, which drives into “food deserts” (areas where it is difficult to find affordable, healthy food) to offer nutritious food to county residents, particularly Westchester’s fast-growing senior population. Lynch has also signaled her plans to expand upon the organization’s current role in policy-making and advocacy on behalf of children.
“We want to focus on reaching those groups that are hardest to reach,” she says.