MANHATTAN – On a normal opening night, the roar of the crowd rocked Madison Square Garden as fans forego commemorative t-shirts over their heads.
Richard Constable, executive vice president of Social Impact at MSG Sports, said the Knicks and Rangers had found a way to make better use of these free t-shirt resources.
“Instead of 40,000 fans having a t-shirt, we thought it would be better if 40,000 of our neighbors needed a hot meal,” said Constable.
MSG and Chase have partnered with small businesses to offer more than 37,000 meals across town, which is a sold-out amount for the Knicks and Rangers combined.
So far, meals have helped feed homeless, vulnerable children and other food insecure people. You have also helped small business owners like Chris Pizzimenti with this.
“When we got involved, it really helped us. They sent us a lot of assignments to fulfill,” said Pizzimenti.
Pizzimenti owns the Al Horno Lean Mexican Kitchen, which has multiple locations across town.
His team has served thousands of meals as part of the program. And he says it has helped his restaurants survive and get people back to work.
“That’s why we’re doing this. We’re in this business to feed people. To deliver good food, people will feel better,” Pizzimenti said.
Instead of wanting a comeback on the pitch or on the ice, according to Pizzmenti, New Yorkers are now cheering for a comeback for the whole city. He felt it every night at 7 p.m. when people hung out their windows to cheer on our medical staff as they changed shift.
Now when he and his staff are providing meals for an important cause, they feel they are doing their part.
“We’re in it together, we’re going to beat this together,” he said.
Constable just believes that these two New York sports institutions only give what they get from their city.
“This town gives a lot to the Knicks and the Rangers, and not just now, not just during the holidays, but always, we think it’s our job to get involved in the city and the community and give back to all New Yorkers, but before all those in need, and especially at this time, ”said Constable.