Return to search

NYC Healthcare Heroes, backed by Leon Black family, expands program

NYC Healthcare Heroes has delivered almost 125,000 packages to hospital workers of shelf-stable food, household cleaning and personal care products and over-the-counter medicine. 

NYC Healthcare Heroes expanded its program to deliver food and supplies to more than 5,000 emergency medical services and disaster services workers. The organization was formed with a $20 million donation from the Debra and Leon Black Family in partnership with Aramark. NYC Healthcare Heroes has delivered almost 125,000 packages to hospital workers of shelf-stable food, household cleaning and personal care products and over-the-counter medicine.

Press Release

NYC Healthcare Heroes, a city-wide philanthropic program launched with an up to $20 million donation by the Debra and Leon Black Family in partnership with Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) to support NYC healthcare professionals on the front lines, today announced an expansion of the program to deliver thousands of bags of food and supplies to over 5,000 emergency medical services (EMS) and disaster services workers.

Since its launch in early April, NYC Healthcare Heroes has delivered nearly 125,000 packages of shelf-stable food, household cleaning and personal care products, as well as over-the-counter medicine, to hospital workers on the front lines. The program will provide at least 300,000 and up to 500,000 packages to the more than 100,000 New York City healthcare professionals across the five boroughs through mid-summer. To launch this program, the Black Family committed $20 million, including an initial $10 million donation and plans to match additional donations up to $10 million, bringing the total possible raise to at least $30 million.

Today’s announcement expands the program to EMS and disaster services workers at all EMS stations and outposts and disaster services locations across the five boroughs. EMS teams and disaster services workers, which include special morgue services, have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, working long hours with little relief. Delivery of these bags of food and household goods alleviates the burden of having to shop for themselves and their families, and also provides well-deserved encouragement and thanks for the work these critical care providers offer in crisis situations.

“The members of the FDNY have truly shown they are among New York City’s Healthcare Heroes through their brave service to New Yorkers throughout this pandemic. This has been the busiest period in the history of EMS, and our men and women have shown their incredible resilience and courage every single day,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “We sincerely thank Debra and Leon Black and Aramark for their generosity in helping provide food and supplies for our members. We also thank their partners at the American Red Cross, Robin Hood, New York City Emergency Management Department (OEM) and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.”

Debra and Leon Black said, “We launched NYC Healthcare Heroes to help support workers on the front lines who are making countless sacrifices. EMS and disaster services workers have been working tirelessly combatting this pandemic, and we’re pleased to expand the program to recognize them for their tremendous work and give them this much needed relief.”

John Zillmer, Chief Executive Officer of Aramark, said, “Our dedicated team, along with Red Cross volunteers and the New York City Emergency Management Department, are making a tremendous effort to ensure our brave heroes combatting the pandemic have the food and supplies they need. We’re proud to be a part of this incredibly important program.”

Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization, is managing receipt of matching 501(c)(3) donations. Donations of all sizes are encouraged to help support this initiative. To donate, visit All donations made through this program are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. For information on how to donate via Wire transfer, Stock transfer or ACH payment, please contact Lisa Careccia at

To see more photos and videos of the program, visit @NYCHealthcareHeroes on Instagram and @NYCHealthHeroes on Twitter and share with your followers.

B-Roll and Photos Available for Download Here

About Debra and Leon Black

Debra and Leon Black support numerous medical and other institutions in New York City and throughout the United States. Debra sits on the Board of Overseers at Weill Cornell Medicine, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Rockefeller University, and she has spearheaded gifts for Melanoma and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (“OCD”) research. Leon is Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Apollo Global Management. He also is the chairman of the Museum of Modern Art (“MoMA”) and serves as a trustee of Mount Sinai Hospital, where his family launched The Black Family Stem Cell Institute in 2005.

In 2007, the Blacks co-founded the Melanoma Research Alliance (“MRA”), a nonprofit foundation that has become the largest private funder of Melanoma research worldwide, having committed over $150 million in funding to advance understanding of the disease. MRA has helped fund 12 drugs approved by the Federal Drug Administration (“FDA”) since its founding, which have been instrumental in launching the immunotherapy revolution, now helping to combat thirty different cancers.

In 2020, the Blacks co-founded The Foundation for OCD Research (FfOR) to fund research into and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

The Blacks are also deeply committed to supporting veterans. In 2014, Leon launched the Apollo Veterans Initiative, where companies commit to hiring and retaining veterans, national guard, reserves, and military spouses and partners. The Debra and Leon Black family also funds a graduate student fellowship program for U.S. veterans and active duty military members, which covers the cost of attendance and supports comprehensive leadership development annually at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School.

About Aramark

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) proudly serves the world’s leading educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, world champion sports teams, prominent healthcare providers, iconic destinations and cultural attractions, and numerous municipalities in 19 countries around the world. Our 280,000 team members deliver innovative experiences and services in food, facilities management and uniforms to millions of people every day. We strive to create a better world by making a positive impact on people and the planet, including commitments to engage our employees; empower healthy consumers; build local communities; source ethically, inclusively and responsibly; operate efficiently and reduce waste. Aramark is recognized as a Best Place to Work by the Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ+), DiversityInc, Equal Employment Publications and the Disability Equality Index. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.