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YONKERS, NY — It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and one Yonkers Latina is giving back to her neighborhood in a big way with a focus on feeding families and violence prevention.

Lucria Ortiz is the CEO of The Yonkers Family YMCA.  On most days, you can find Ortiz on the sidewalk of Riverdale Avenue helping feed families and veterans. 

With every box of food, Ortiz says she hopes veterans feel they are loved and appreciated for their service and sacrifice.

“We have so many Latinos who have served. Puerto Ricans! Borequas!  They served and it’s important to honor them,” said Ortiz.  

Even though she’s CEO, Ortiz is hands on when it comes to serving her community.  Her YMCA distributes over 250 hot meals a day.  On Mondays there’s a special distribution for Hispanic veterans.  Ortiz says it’s her deep love for her Puerto Rican culture and her Yonkers community that drive her to help every single day.

Ortiz says her passion to serve comes from her childhood.   A former Bronx defender, Ortiz went from the court room the front lines of a hunger crisis im Yonkers. 

Ortiz is very proud of her Puerto Rican heritage. She was raised by a strong, single mom who taught her to be proud of her Hispanic heritage and about the importance of education.  Now Ortiz makes sure to develop after school activities to empower Hispanic youth to achieve their dreams.

If you want more information about what Ortiz is working on and free after school activities at the YMCA in Yonkers, click here.