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The Keith Haring Foundation and GMHC Announce 5-Year Partnership to Tackle Hunger Among HIV-Positive Individuals and Families

The Keith Haring Food Pantry Program is Announced on the 20th Anniversary of Iconic Artist's Passing

2.16.2010 - New York, New York - GMHC is proud to announce the launch of a new five-year partnership with the Keith Haring Foundation aimed at strengthening the agency's efforts to feed underprivileged families and individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. The partnership, which includes a $250,000 grant from the Foundation, will launch today on the 20th anniversary of Keith Haring's untimely death due to AIDS-related complications. To mark this anniversary, GMHC's longstanding pantry program will now be called the Keith Haring Food Pantry Program.

"We feel that naming our pantry program after Keith Haring is the best way that GMHC can honor his legacy as one of the most respected and beloved New York City artists and HIV/AIDS activists of the late 20th century. And for our clients, this partnership will mean a further solution to hunger, a healthier life, and overall improved well-being," said Marjorie J. Hill, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of GMHC.

The Keith Haring Food Pantry Program will continue to be located in GMHC's headquarters in Chelsea. The pantry, which distributes hundreds of food packages per month, is of vital importance, as basic nutrition is one of the cornerstones of maintaining the health of HIV-positive individuals and ensuring that they are able to lead long, productive lives.

The food provided by the pantry is specifically tailored to meet the unique nutritional needs of HIV-positive individuals, addressing common co-morbidities affecting people living with HIV, including high cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar.

"The Keith Haring Foundation is proud to partner with GMHC in support of their food pantry. It was one of Keith Haring's dreams, and is one of his Foundation's goals that his activism and visual legacy benefit the HIV/AIDS community. We are so grateful for the naming of the Keith Haring Food Pantry Program, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the passing of this remarkable and generous artist," said Julia Gruen, Executive Director of the Keith Haring Foundation.

The partnership is especially fitting, as GMHC and Keith Haring share a rich history, a common sense of purpose and urgency in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1958, Haring became widely known for his vibrant and life-affirming public art works, which often carried social messages. He produced more than 50 public pieces between 1982 and 1989, in dozens of cities around the world; many of which were created for charities, hospitals, children's day care centers and orphanages. He is equally respected as an icon of the New York City art world of the 1980s, where his work appeared in places as varied as subway platforms and quickly migrated to museums and galleries.

GMHC, founded in 1981 as Gay Men's Health Crisis, was an emergency response to a then-unnamed disease that had begun ravaging communities, primarily of gay men, in New York City. What started as an effort by six gay men to provide information and basic services to the dying, has grown into a robust and diverse organization that provides a continuum of care services designed to empower all those affected by HIV/AIDS - male and female, young and old - so that they may thrive. The agency's mission statement is: "GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected."

GMHC is located at 119 West 24th Street in New York City, and the Keith Haring Food Pantry Program is available to clients who have been assessed and demonstrate a need for nutritional support.

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GMHC is the world's first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all.

Media Contact:
Krishna Stone | 212.367.1016

Source:
http://www.gmhc.org/news-and-events/press-releases/the-keith-haring-foundation-and-gmhc-announce-5-year-partnership-to-tackle-hunger-among-hiv-posit

 

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