Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York

by New York Common Pantry
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Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York
Cityzens Giving Emergency Food - New York

Project Report | Apr 12, 2024
New York Common Pantry Spring Report

By Michelle Segal | Grant Writer

Fruits & Veggies!
Fruits & Veggies!

Mission and History

New York Common Pantry (NYCP) reduces hunger and promotes dignity, health and self-sufficiency. Since opening our doors in 1980 as Yorkville Common Pantry, a small volunteer-led organization, NYCP has grown into one of the largest emergency food aid providers in New York, providing over 10 million meals in FY23. We approach our participants’ needs holistically, believing that food assistance is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to alleviating food insecurity. In addition to our food programs, we offer case management services accessing state and federal benefits, and nutrition education programs addressing chronic health issues caused and exacerbated by a poor diet. 

In 2012, we changed our name to New York Common Pantry as the communities we served spread across the five boroughs. To serve more people and expand our programming, NYCP opened a second Choice Pantry in the Bronx in 2017 that was donated by the Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association, Inc.; and in 2022, a new ADA-compliant space for our senior program and nutrition education program in the Bronx. Most recently, NYCP has opened our Food Storage and Distribution Hub (The Hub) to help us spread our reach and accommodate the long-term growth of the organization. The Hub is custom outfitted to serve the specific needs of NYCP and provides dedicated space for our Mobile, Food Rescue, Live Healthy!, and Nourish programs.

Programs and Impact

NYCP’s Choice Pantry distributed nutritionally balanced grocery packages to thousands of families in East Harlem and the Bronx. Our innovative “choice” model allows Choice Pantry members to select from multiple options in each food group to create custom grocery packages on-site using touch screen tablets. ensuring they receive food in line with their families’ preferences and dietary needs. We encourage healthy eating; our Pantry packages are primarily whole foods, not convenience items, and packages are at least 40% fresh produce. Mobile Pantry helps to increase access to fresh produce and nutritious groceries through collaboration with community-based organizations. Mobile Pantry was instituted during the pandemic so that NYCP could provide assistance safely as well as address the increased demand for our services. NYCP now works with a large network of community partners to bring the same fresh, healthy food available at our brick-and-mortar locations to underserved areas of the city. Our Nourish program serves low-income seniors in their own communities, providing supplemental grocery packages for seniors 60 years and older.

NYCP provides nutritionally balanced hot lunches, and delicious “brown bag” meals from our East Harlem location through our Hot Meals program. We serve culturally appropriate meals made with fresh, high-quality ingredients, obtained primarily through our Food Rescue initiative, repurposed to serve our guests.  

Case management services are provided through our Help 365 and Project Dignity programs. Case managers screen low-income and homeless individuals and families for eligibility for state and federal entitlements such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) as well as enrolling them as Choice Pantry members. Project Dignity offers a bridge back to well being for our homeless guests, providing on-site showers, laundry, and haircuts, a mailing address, and connections with services that aid in housing, medical care, and job training. 

Live Healthy! provides interactive wellness education, helping participants build the food preparation and shopping skills necessary to eat well on a budget, and collaborates with clinical partners to reach food insecure New Yorkers at high risk for illnesses related to a poor diet. Farm to Community, a Live Healthy! farm share initiative for low-income participants, offers a bi-weekly farm share of at least 15-20 pounds of seasonal, locally sourced fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains, and eggs at a fixed price of $5 per package.

Our programs reduce barriers to entry by literally meeting New Yorkers in need where they are, providing language appropriate assistance and healthy, nutritionally balanced options across all our food programs. In the first half of FY24, NYCP programs had the following impact:

  • NYCP has provided 5,512,148 meals, saw 395,129 visits and reached 90,106 food insecure individuals across all our programs. 
  • Choice Pantry in East Harlem and the Bronx has provided 2,041,183 meals, and reached 26,364 food insecure individuals.
  • Mobile Pantry has served 65 regular partner sites in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens, providing 1,025,085 meals and served 18,037 individuals. Since FY22, we have increased the number of regular partner sites from 40 to 65; Mobile Pantry has also completed an additional 109 on-off emergency distributions this fiscal year. 
  • Hot Meals has provided 50,453 meals and “brown bag” lunches this fiscal year - a 52% increase over the same time period last year.
  • Project Dignity has engaged with 2,252 individuals - a 36% increase over the previous fiscal year.
  • Help 365 case managers have accessed $3,921,175 in resources for our guests.
  • Nourish provided supplemental grocery packages at over 120 sites, serving more than 18,000 seniors monthly.
  • Live Healthy! has served 2,055 individuals and has distributed over 10,000 pounds of fresh produce. 

Participation in NYCP programs has been the first step for a better life for thousands of New York City residents in need. NYCP programs help families stretch their budgets, reallocating resources to housing, clothing, health care, and education. As the cost of living continues to skyrocket, struggling households must make their insufficient incomes stretch further and further. By providing nutritious grocery packages, comprehensive case management services, and nutrition education, NYCP remains true to our mission to combat hunger, while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency.

NYCP's Mobile Pantry Truck
NYCP's Mobile Pantry Truck
Packing food at The Hub
Packing food at The Hub


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Dec 20, 2023
New York Common Pantry End of Year Report

By Michelle Segal | Grant Writer

Sep 4, 2023
Expanding our Reach, Increasing our Impact

By Michelle Segal | Grant Writer

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Organization Information

New York Common Pantry

Location: NEW YORK, NY - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @nycommonpantry
Project Leader:
Deana Murtha
NEW YORK , NY United States

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