Full Heart Full Bellies+R/A

Full Heart Full Bellies+R/A

Full Heart Full Bellies was started by Chef Millie Peartree to provide delicious and nutritious home cooked meals for children, families and adults in need.

Read Millie’s story in Today here.

This program operates on the firm belief that food that tastes good and is good for you warms the soul, heart and mind. The initiative’s goal is to provide wholesome meals to its neighbors in an effort to reduce stress. Full Heart Full Bellies has provided hot meals for healthcare workers, MTA workers, police, and protestors since the coronavirus took hold in NYC.

Full Heart Full Bellies recently focused new efforts on feeding children and families in need in the Bronx, NY. The Bronx is one of the five boroughs that makes up New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island are the other four). According to a report released by the State of New York in July of 2018, the Bronx has a household poverty rate of 28.4 percent in 2016, significantly higher than in the other four boroughs and 10 percentage points higher than the citywide average. The borough also has the highest child poverty rate (40.1 percent in 2018), much higher than the citywide rate of 26.6 percent. Stated another way, in the Bronx, 31 percent of all children live in food insecure homes; that is, one in four – do not always know where their next meal is coming from. While other feeding efforts in this area and throughout the city are in place, city leaders reached out to express their need for prepared hot meals, as opposed to solely shelf stable pre-packaged items or cold selections such as a sandwich. Chef Millie, a native to the Bronx, jumped at the opportunity to fill this void and RA jumped on board to help.

Restaurant Associates is a longtime friend of Millie and whose SVP of Culinary, Marc Scheuer, is a mentor to her. We soon jumped on board in a number of ways including organizing volunteers and, most importantly, securing a kitchen and staff to prepare the meals and boxes. Thanks to Amazon, Restaurant Associates is able to work in the kitchen at the Needle & Thread Café, located on one of the company’s offices in Manhattan, and bring in staff to make sure all meals are made in time for delivery to three locations in the Bronx. Amazon Chefs Kareem David and Quentin Lugo, Assistant General Manager Jay Rapp, General Manager Nick Chrisos and the team members, along with RA staff volunteering their time, have worked each day with Millie to ensure this feeding is successful. Other RA partners include the Bread Gal, a certified women-owned business and NYC local bakery, also joined the efforts by donating bread and baked goods for the meals.

Full Heart Full Bellies delivered 600 fresh, delicious meals to the Bronx every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout July and August and served 14,400 children throughout the 8 week initiative. In August, the team also began a feeding of meals to nursing homes each Tuesday and Thursday.

Thanks to the exemplary work done by the team, our volunteers, and of course Chef Millie, we are excited to announce we are continuing these efforts at Amazon for Full Heart Full Bellies through December 31st! We are truly honored and proud to support our local community and those in need during this time, and incredibly grateful to our partners at Amazon for supporting this mission and keeping our teams working each week.

Learn more about the local NYC organizations and companies:
Full Heart Full Bellies:
Bread Gal Bakery (Women Owned certified):
Share For Life: