History
New York Common Pantry over the years ...


COMMON PANTRY TIMELINE

New York Common Pantry is New York City’s largest single-site community based food pantry.  Since opening in 1980 as a small neighborhood pantry serving 30 families, the Common Pantry has grown into New York City's most innovative emergency food provider offering meals and support services to more than 25,000 individuals.  The Common Pantry has undertaken a multitude of new initiatives that help make a difference in the lives of our clients.  While the programs have expanded and changed over the past 30 years, our mission to reduce hunger and promote dignity and self-sufficiency has remained constant.  In addition, the Common Pantry's commitment to innovation and collaboration in order to better serve the community's needs has defined its unique standing among other food programs in New York City.


1980's

1980 - Yorkville Common Pantry becomes one of the first 20 emergency food pantries in NYC, distributing to 30 families in the basement of Holy Trinity Church
1982 - Common Pantry begins operating its first hot meal program at PS 151 at 1st Avenue and 91st Street
1986/7 - Pantry program expands to new facilities on 109th Street in East Harlem
1987 - Common Pantry provides complete holiday dinners for 250 families
1988 - Common Pantry partners with Momentum to start "Lunch for Life" Program, to serve people living with AIDS


1990's

1992 - Common Pantry’s first Capital Campaign raises $700,000 for renovations
1992 - Project Dignity begins serving breakfast 5 days a week. Showers and laundry facilities are provided for the first time as well
1993 - Common Pantry holds its first Joint School Association dances for 6th and 7th grade students from local Independent Schools
1994 - Common Pantry begins operating a small overnight shelter for 8 homeless Project Dignity clients
1997 - Mt. Sinai Hospital offers volunteer health care services at the Common Pantry


2000's

2000 - Due to growing incidence of unemployment, Common Pantry adds Saturday as Pantry Distribution Day
2002 - Hot Meal Program moves to join with Pantry operations at 8 East 109th Street
2003 - Common Pantry opens the 24|7YCP program, the only 24 hour, 7 day-a-week emergency food program in New York State
2005 - Food Bank for NYC honors Common Pantry as its 'Food Program of the Year'
2007 - Common Pantry renovates its facility, adding a third floor to reduce wait time and increase the number of people served
2009 - Common Pantry receives Robin Hood Foundation’s "Hero Award" and for the first time serves 2 million meals
2009 - Common Pantry serves 2 million meals for the first time
2009 - 24|7YCP converts to 365 YCP (Now Help365), with specific focus on acquiring benefits and entitlements for Common Pantry visitors


2010's

2010 - Fresh Food Initiative reduces canned fruits and vegetables served and triples the amount of fresh food received by pantry members
2011 - Conversion to Choice Pantry empowers members to pick the nutritious foods they’d like to receive, by ordering from home or on smart tablets at the Pantry
2011 - 365 YCP (Help365) and onsite partners access over $3.4 million in benefits, entitlements, and tax assistance for Common Pantry families
2011 - NICF swells to 186 sessions in one year, more than double the sessions offered in 2010. 5,521 individuals participate in NICF sessions
2012 – The need created by Superstorm Sandy spurs our first city-wide disaster relief
2013 – We change our name to New York Common Pantry; receive first-ever Innovation Award from Food Bank for NYC