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Brooklyn after-school program turns into food pantry amid pandemic

Posted at 6:38 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 18:38:16-04

EAST FLATBUSH — Elite Learners was created four years ago to provide mentorship and education for underserved children in Brooklyn.

After the coronavirus pandemic hit and schools were closed, the program’s leader jumped into action by feeding families in need.

Elite Learners executive director Camara Jackson partnered with City Council member Farah Louis, of Brooklyn, and opened a new emergency food pantry on Avenue D in East Flatbush.

“It resurrected itself into this new hub and development center in this district,” Louis said.

Jackson, a former high school teacher, said the focus of the program had to change because the pandemic has left children and families hungry.

“The pandemic hit, we went into overdrive. We couldn’t wait to open the office. We had to start a pantry and provide our neighbors with food, so that’s what we did,” Jackson told PIX11.

In August, Jackson was filling hundreds of backpacks with school supplies for children in need. Now, she’s handing out bags of food to some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

In the last month, Elite Learners has distributed over 4,000 meals and bags of groceries, according to Jackson.

The program also operates food delivery services for seniors and home-bound residents on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

They hope to expand and double the amount of meals next month.

Anyone interested in donating to Elite Learners can visit, elitelearners.org.