Seventeen businesses in the district are participating in “Grand Street Gives Back,” which is running throughout December. The stores will have collection boxes to take donations of unexpired, un-dented and nonperishable food items.
All of the food will be given to St. John’s The Evangelist Church’s food pantry programs, which provide hot meals and groceries to more than 150 families a week in East Williamsburg.
“It’s a good way for businesses to connect to each other and create a sense of community,” said Grand Street BID executive director Erin Piscopink. “Everybody wants to give back.”
Last year, 12 local businesses participated. People like the idea, Piscopink said, so they brought the initiative back and expanded it.
St. John’s The Evangelist Church is close to the BID’s office, she said, and they’re engaged in the community.
“It felt like a natural fit to connect with businesses to give back to this neighborhood,” Piscopink said.
The holiday food drive also serves as a competition among the participants, with the winner receiving a cash prize.
In addition to giving back, the program will hopefuly lead to more spending in local businesses.
“It allows us to help drive foot traffic to the businesses here through the holiday season,” Piscopink said.