Iris House Steps Up West Harlem Meals Distribution

Iris House staff prepare lunches for distribution to more than five dozen clients on April 1.
Ingrid Floyd

Iris House, which for 28 years has been providing HIV-related services to women, families, and other underserved communities, has stepped up its lunch distribution program in response to the shuttering of other social service agencies during the coronavirus crisis.

On a typical weekday, the group serves between 40 and 50 lunches, according to its executive director, Ingrid Floyd. On Tuesday, April 1, 62 people turned out at Iris House, located on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard (Seventh Avenue) between West 137th and 138th Streets in West Harlem, to pick up carry-out lunches.

Iris House clients observed six-foot social distancing as they picked up lunch in West Harlem this week.Ingrid Floyd

“My team are always on the front lines,” said Floyd. “And during this pandemic, without a single complaint among them, they are insisting on coming to the office daily to serve our clients. They have the clearest and truest understanding of what it means to be a pubic health organization. They know that this is a time when our clients and community need us most.”

Iris House’s normal meals program involves distribution of 95 pantry packages of 12 meals on Thursdays and lunch served from Tuesday to Friday.

Lunches ready for distribution at Iris House.Ingrid Floyd

“I am grateful to have a staff of such committed and passionate warriors. I applaud them,” said Floyd.

One of Iris House’s diligent employees hands out lunches on April 1.Ingrid Floyd