Friday 17 Feb 12
This week I did some pretty amazing things and went to some amazing places, but the most amazing was The Food Bank for New York City.
I went to their branch in Harlem, where they have a soup kitchen and a pantry and where they also give people advice about food stamps and tax returns as well as nutrition. It blew me away. It blew me away for many reasons: the passion and kindness of the people who work there, but mostly the sheer size of the problem they are dealing with.
Hunger is everywhere. It is not just a problem of the homeless. I was horrified to learn that only about ten per cent of the people who come for help to the Food Bank are homeless. Actually 1 in every 5 New Yorkers needs their help to get by. 1 in every 6 seniors. 3.3 million people in NYC are having trouble affording food and are turning to the Food Bank for help. Their traffic has increased by 30 per cent in the last year. It's huge. It's everywhere. It's people with jobs, maybe more than one job. It's people you are passing every day in the street, respectable, presentable, hard-working people who just don't have enough to eat.
There are many ways to help. One of the ways the people I met seemed to favour was doing a virtual food drive because they are able to get much more bang for their buck this way as they can buy in bulk and help more people.
Please go to the website and have a read. It is galling problem that needs to be discussed and helped immediately.
What else I did this week:
Monday: LA, worked with my business partner Joe on my upcoming photo show and website AlanCumming Photography.com. Then went to see the cast and crew screening of the movie I shot last summer, Any Day Now. I love it and very excited for it to be seen by the world. Just remember to bring your hankies. Then I went to LAX and got the redeye back to NYC. Bad idea.
Tuesday: I visited the Food Bank then gave a violin lesson to Paul Festa. Yes, that's right. But it's part of his film project Tie It Into My Hand. Later in the evening I hosted the 5th anniversary party of The Box, one of my favourite places in the city. I sang Tainted Love as a clergyman in a rubber kilt . Later I introduced two girls who peed onstage. Yes, showbiz. Here I am below singing the end of my number amd dealing with a punter trying to look up my kilt.
Wednesday: I went to Boston and recorded the role of a poodle in an episode of the animated kids' show Arthur.
Thursday: I returned to WGBH in Boston to do my annual duties as host of PBS' Masterpiece Mystery series. Then I got the train back to NYC
Friday: I am back on the set of The Good Wife, where I invented a new sport: Yogolda