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 - Yorkville Common Pantry becomes one of the first 20 emergency food pantries in NYC, distributing pantry 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 - Common Pantry expands from the basement of Holy Trinity Church to its new facilities on 109th Street
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
1992 - Common Pantry’s first Capital Campaign raises $700,000 for renovations
1992 - Project Dignity beings 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 - Due to growing incidence of unemployment, Common Pantry adds Saturday as Pantry Distribution Day
2002 - Common Pantry's Hot Meal Program moves to 8 East 109th Street in East Harlem
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 - After renovating its East Harlem facility, Common Pantry builds additional floor, which reduces wait time, increases the number of clients able to be served, and eliminates the "breadline" on the street
2009 - Common Pantry is the recipient of Robin Hood Foundation’s "Hero Award" and New York State Department of Health Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program's "Best Practice Award"
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 - Fresh Food Initiative is started to reduce the amount of canned fruits and vegetables served in Pantry. Fresh Food Initiative results in at least tripling the amount of fresh food pantry families receive
2011 - Common Pantry converts its Pantry operation to Choice Pantry, empowering clients to be active participants in the distribution process by encouraging them to pick the nutritious food they would like to receive. Each pantry package provides 12 meals for each member of the family.
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