Press & Media
Thanksgiving: Food stamp cuts leave pantries struggling to meet rising need
As Demand Increases, East Harlem Pantry Uses High-Tech Gadgets to Help Feed Hungry
New York Common Pantry Partners with Fairway Market for an evening of feasting in East Hampton
The Common Pantry is proud to have partnered with Fairway Markets as they and Agromente/Aromatica Italian Foods hosted an intimate and exclusive evening of feasting
and learning with Steve Jenkins, master fromager and Joshua Wesson, author sommelier of distinction on 7/29/12 at the Hamptons Players Club.
Guests enjoyed exquisite wines, cheeses, and a three-course meal. 100% of the tickets purchase price benefited the Common Pantry.
We are grateful to Fairway and Agromente/Aromatica Italian Foods for their generous donations.
NY1’s "NYer of the Week" makes sandwiches to benefit the Common Pantry’s brown bag meals program
to watch Erin Dinan support the Common Pantry on NY1.
Common Pantry partners with FEED Projects to provide meals to hungry New Yorkers
to watch Executive Director Stephen Grimaldi talking with Lauren Bush Lauren on NY1.
Stephen Grimaldi is NY-1 TV’s ‘New Yorker of the Week’ on March 23
March is National Nutrition Month, and this week's New Yorker of the Week is helping hungry New Yorkers gain access to fresh produce.
Fresh, healthy food is a luxury for many New Yorkers, and for those struggling to make ends meet, quality produce is often out of reach.
for the full story and video at NY1.
ARD German TV reports at Common Pantry!
Common Pantry presented with ‘FEED Hero Award’ at 4th Annual FEED-Raiser
On December 14th, New York Common Pantry was awarded $10,000 at the 4th Annual FEED-Raiser and Market event at Urban Zen in New York City.
Lauren Bush Lauren, Co-Founder of FEED Foundation, presented the Common Pantry with FEED's 1st ever 'FEED Hero Award' to Common Pantry Board Chair, Wendy A. Stein.
"New York Common Pantry is a stand-out example of the FEED Foundation's mission to fight hunger worldwide. We are proud to be
honoring the Common Pantry's more than 30 years of outstanding work for New Yorkers in need," said Lauren Bush Lauren. FEED employees came to
volunteer for the first time in our new innovative Choice Pantry, providing clients with individualized grocery packages by using
web-enabled tablets on-site to allow participants to choose the items they need the most. The Common Pantry is honored to be acknowledged by
FEED Foundation's mission to support programs and organizations that effectively work to fight hunger and eliminate malnutrition throughout
the world. So a special THANK YOU to FEED Foundation for this wonderful recognition of our work in New York City!
World Wings International visit the Common Pantry!
World Wings International, Inc. is a philanthropic organization of former flight attendants of Pan American World Airways.
In 2009, World Wings achieved Fifty and Fabulous status, celebrating a half century of friendship, philanthropy and a
proud place in aviation history.
Members of the Manhattan Chapter visited the Common Pantry during the Holiday season,
received a tour of the Pantry and met with Executive Director, Stephen Grimaldi. World Wings has been
affiliated with the Common Pantry for the past 5 years and presented the Common Pantry with a generous contribution from members of the Manhattan
Chapter that was matched by World Wings International's Manhattan chapter.
"Instead of asking people to donate food, we
asked them to write individual checks which would then be matched by the philanthropic organization," explained Carina
Kingson, President of the Manhattan chapter. The organization's treasurer Sheila Saunders, liaison Martha
Nichols, and Vice President of Membership Jane Rosenblum, assisted Ms. Kingson in presenting Mr. Grimaldi with the
donation from World Wings International.
Common Pantry kids visit New York State Farms for second year in a row!
For the second consecutive year, NICF children participated in three day-long field trips to The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm in
Columbia County, NY. Children planted red-leaf lettuce seeds, walked through a "tomato jungle," and tasted edible
flowers as they learned about planting and harvesting organic fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
A fun highlight of the
day came during the chicken coop, as the children learned the proper way to pick up and carry chicken and held freshly laid eggs.
It was the first time that the children saw eggs in varying hues other than standard supermarket white. The children
talked about the things they learned while preparing a delicious lunch using vegetables gathered at the farm.
During the ride back the city, all anyone wanted to know was "when can we go back to help plant and compost at the farm?"
Temple Emanu-El's Sunday Lunch Program helps Common Pantry clients
New York Common Pantry salutes the hard work and generous spirit of Temple Emanu-El volunteers this year.
Earlier this year, Temple Emanu-El donated food for an entire evening meal which fed more than 200 homeless men and women.
The congregation also provides “brown bag meals” to the Common Pantry through a program called Sunday Lunch Program (SLP).
New York Common Pantry distributes brown bag meals on Sunday evenings. Temple volunteers have
increased the number of bags they prepare in order to accommodate the emergency meal program at the Common Pantry.
They have also enhanced the quality of the food offerings.
Each month, approximately 110 Temple Emanu-El volunteers make sandwiches with healthy ingredients like meat
and cheese, tuna fish salad and egg salad to distribute to clients. Eight to ten weekly volunteers
prepare containers of pasta salad (from April to October) and containers of soup (from November to March) which
the Common Pantry’s clients can reheat in one of two new microwave ovens that Temple Emanu-El purchased and donated to the Pantry.
Temple Emanu-El volunteers prepare healthy snacks for our clients, including fruits, vegetables, and trail mix
and a bottle of water and they even provide paper back books, toiletries and other items to benefit clients.
Common Pantry's Youngest Philanthropist!
While New York Common receives many generous donations each year, something is
very special about a donation made by a four-year-old. Samara became our youngest
philanthropist when she sold painted seashells and lemonade in the lobby of her building to raise
money to help the hungry.
After Samara had raised a grand total of $18, her parents
asked her what she wanted to do with the proceeds. Samara immediately responded that
she wanted to use the money to buy food for the hungry. But just helping the hungry
wasn't enough for Samara; she wanted to go with her parents to see the pantry and meet the
people who would be receiving the food.
On June 17th, Samara and her parents visited the Pantry
to drop off the food and spend time watching the pantry in action. When asked why she
decided to donate her money to the Common Pantry, Samara responded, "Ever since I was younger, I just liked caring
about people who are hungry." The Common Pantry thanks its youngest philanthropist for her thoughtful donation.
The Real Housewives of New York City on Bravo give back to New York Common Pantry
NICF children meet the Super Sprowtz!
"50 children from our NICF program as well as over 200 local children gathered at Union Settlement to join Manhattan Borough
President Scott Stringer and the amazing 'Super Sprowtz' perform a wonderful puppet show teaching the children of East Harlem
about eating their veggies!"
For the full story click here
George Duran and Better TV Visit the Common Pantry!
Celebrity Chef and ConAgra Foods spokesperson, George Duran
came to visit the Common Pantry on March, 14th 2011. ConAgra
one of North America's leading food companies, recently announced the launching of Cooking Connections.
Cooking Connections is a blogging experience that helps to reconnect parents to the joyful, social, family-friendly
art of cooking using a multimedia format. As part of Cooking Connections, and in collaboration with
, Geroge Duran hosted a healthy cooking demonstration
in Common Pantry's kitchen. Chef Duran prepared a fun, simple and affordable recipe of sliced apples, peanut butter
and granola in a whole wheat wrap! It's time to celebrate family mealtime again!
For more information on Cooking Connections and to register for classes, please visit
To learn more about what the Common Pantry's Nutrition Initiative for Children and Families (NICF) click here
for a video of George Duran's visit to the Common Pantry!.
ING Financial Services and MTM Technologies partnered to donate $150,000 of Computer Equipment and Services to the Common Pantry
ING Financial Services, Inc.
and MTM Technologies
presented the New York Common Pantry with $150,000 of new computer equipment and services, providing New York City’s largest
community-based food pantry with technology upgrades to help strengthen its mission of reducing hunger.
The donated equipment includes 28 computer workstations, three network printers and two computer servers. The
comprehensive system overhaul will make the Common Pantry more technologically advanced than many large and medium-sized corporations,
enabling staff to more efficiently perform tasks such as business accounting, ordering supplies and inventory control.
To view full press release click here
The JFK Library Foundation acknowledged Stephen Grimaldi for the Reward of Public Service at New York Common Pantry
Common Pantry increases Fresh Produce through relationship with local Farmer John Glebocki of J. Glebocki Farms, LLC
New York Common Pantry is dedicated to, and passionate about, providing clients with as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible.
Through the Common Pantry's recent partnership with J. Glebocki Farms, owned and operated by John Glebocki, and located in Goshen, New York, it
has been receiving farm fresh produce since April 2010. Over the past year, Glebocki Farms has grown to be one of the Common Pantry's
main providers, and continues to be an essential partner in filling the pantry with fresh vegetables.
The Common Pantry began its partnership with Glebocki through Green Markets, a New York City based program, which connects small family farms with
urban buyers and markets. The Common Pantry orders a variety of fresh produce from Glebocki Farms for the food pantry, Nutrition Initiative
for Children and Families (NICF) classes, and hot meal program.
This past autumn, against the backdrop of his abundant crops, John Glebocki chatted about the history of his farm and offered his
perspective on the budding partnership. J. Glebocki Farms was founded in the early 1900's and over the years has shifted
from solely an onion farm to a diverse mix of crops, growing over 160 varieties of produce, including lettuce, radishes, turnips, squash,
pumpkins, cilantro, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers, basil, mint, strawberries and green beans. Glebocki Farms' consists of five farm
hands, two farm managers, and 15 employees who operate its markets and make deliveries throughout the city.
Over the winter months, Glebocki Farms continues to provide the Common Pantry with the fresh produce clients rely on. Root vegetables,
grown in the nutrient-rich black soil of Orange County, are kept in winter storage facilities, so the Common Pantry's clients still receive healthy,
fresh produce throughout the cold winter months.
John Glebocki expressed excitement about working with New York Common Pantry, and he is in the process of making plans with Daniel Reyes,
Director of Programs at the Common Pantry, to move forward and expand the partnership. As the Common Pantry's partnership with J. Glebocki Farms approaches
the one year mark, it is wonderful to see its growth in providing the Common Pantry's clients with delicious, fresh produce.
Food Network's Sandra Lee Visits the Common Pantry!
Conducting site visits of New York Food Banks, Sandra Lee visited and volunteered at New York Common Pantry.
Ms. Lee met with executives from City Harvest and Food Bank for New York City, as well as New York Common Pantry
to discuss challenging issues that each organization is facing during the current economic downturn.
The Common Pantry was thrilled to have Ms. Lee volunteer in our Kitchen where she prepared food for our Monday night Dinner.
To learn more about Sandra Lee and her many accomplishments visit her website at
Highlighted in the New York Post, see Sandra Lee preparing greens
for Common Pantry clients!
Fox 5 News visits Common Pantry during our Thanksgiving Dinner
Fox 5 News
filmed dozens of volunteers and Common Pantry staff as they made our Thanksgiving Day Dinner an extremely special night for many.
With generous donations and lots of helping hands the Pantry was able to provide dinner to almost 400 individuals in need.
Thank you to all those who made this day possible.
Rock Band, Papa Roach collaborate with WhyHunger to Volunteer at Common Pantry
Lead singer Jacoby Dakota Shaddix and bassist Tobin Esperance were up early October 7th in East Harlem,
helping out at the New York Common Pantry. Shaddix and Esperance were at the New York
Common Pantry as part of Artists Against Hunger & Poverty which is just a small part of the non profit
For more information on this story please visit http://www.examiner.com/metal-music-in-new-york/papa-roach-visits-nyc-food-pantry
Also, to learn more about Papa Roach and their new album go to http://www.paparoach.com/
The 2010 Spring Benefit was a great success! Thank you to all our Supporters
For more information click here
Common Pantry Received Heirloom Vegetables
The New York Common Pantry, New York City’s largest food pantry, received crates of edible heirlooms at the
The Art of Farming
inaugural Tri-State Heirloom Vegetable
auction on September 23, 2010. The Common Pantry is one of two local community food providers to receive donated vegetables ...
Elise Hayes Volunteers at The Common Pantry
Up and coming singer/songwriter, Elise Hayes, raised awareness for New York Common Pantry
by volunteering at our pantry while she was in New York City for a concert.
Please visit her website at www.myspace.com/elisehayes
for more information about Elise, her upcoming tour and to read about her experience at New York Common Pantry.
Best Buy supports Common Pantry
Best Buy, the nation’s leading consumer electronics retailer, presented the New York Common
Pantry with a $5,000 check to support its programs at its ribbon-cutting event at its first
Harlem store on Saturday, March 27th, 2010. The new store, located on 116th Street and
the FDR Drive, is part of the East River Plaza shopping complex.
New York Common Pantry, a leader in the Harlem community, providing important hunger prevention programs and children
and adult nutrition initiatives to combat obesity for 30 years, welcomes Best Buy to the community
and applauds their financial and volunteer contributions to help improve the vitality of communities
throughout the world. Many thanks. For more information about Best Buy,
Special thanks to Make Meaning for supporting the New York Common Pantry. Make Meaning is a creative hub
for people of all ages. It’s a great place to host unique parties, or to just come in and create something
special. Join in the fun! Express yourself and make something meaningful.
New York Common Pantry Highlighted as Robin Hood Organization
The Robin Hood Foundation honored New York Common Pantry, New York City's largest single-site community
food provider, with the prestigious Robin Hood Heroes award for continued services for the needy.
View videos of this story by clicking the images at the right.
PANTRY GETS AWARD, GRANT MONEY
By Dan Rivoli - December 9, 2009
With the city’s unemployment rate above 10 percent, food pantries are serving more people on less cash.
But New York Common Pantry, at 8 E. 109th St. between Fifth and Madison avenues, got good fiscal news for the holidays.
The Robin Hood Foundation honored the pantry with its annual “Heroes” award and a $50,000 grant.
Last year, the pantry, the largest single-site food provider, saw a 19 percent increase in meals served. The year before,
meals served increased by 18 percent.
Stephen Grimaldi, the pantry’s executive director, expects the trend to continue this year. This makes the grant that
much more crucial, as the primary source of funding - private donations - are down.
“It’s a double whammy to provide an increase in meals with less money,” Grimaldi said.
“Fifty thousand dollars will clearly go to provide food to serve the increased number of people seeking our services.”
The Robin Hood Foundation also honored Halana Richardson, a 44-year-old mother of three, whose husband was murdered.
New York Common Pantry provided food services and programs for Richardson, a first-time visitor to a food pantry.
She will soon start a teacher’s assistant program at City College.
City’s largest food pantry honored with generous $50,000 grant
New York, NY--- Today Robin Hood Foundation honored New York Common Pantry, New York City’s largest single-site community food provider, with the prestigious Robin Hood Heroes award and a $50,000 grant for continued services for the needy. New York Common Pantry served 2 million meals last year, a 19% increase, and estimates it will provide more than 2.5 million meals this year as a result of increased need. New York Common Pantry also connects individuals and families with health care, housing and shelter services, jobs training, as well as cooking and nutrition education classes.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke at the breakfast, and presenters included Robin Hood Founder Paul Tudor Jones and Robin Hood board members Tom Brokaw, Geoff Canada and Daniel Och.
“In a year when individual, family, and corporate funding went down, as the need for our services soared, we thank Robin Hood for standing by the Common PantryNew York Common Pantry and New Yorkers,” said New York Common Pantry Executive Director Stephen Grimaldi. “Robin Hood's support has made it possible for the Pantry to serve 2 million meals and help clients access hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits they were not already receiving.”
Halana Richardson, a 44 year old mother of three and military veteran, is a typical Common Pantry client. Following the death of her husband, she unexpectedly found herself struggling to feed her family.
“I never in my life thought I would have to go to a soup kitchen,” Richardson said at the Robin Hood award ceremony. “I was embarrassed and I was ashamed, but I had to do it for my family. Walking through the door for the first time, the people were so nice. When I got home from the Common Pantry, my children and I gathered in the kitchen around the bag and they were opening it like they were opening a Christmas present.”
“In the depths of a recession, these heroes and their courageous stories shed light on what nearly 2 million New Yorkers must endure and overcome,” said Tom Brokaw, host of the event. “The Robin Hood Foundation is extremely proud to honor these inspiring members of our community.”
Every year, the Robin Hood Foundation celebrates people and organizations making extraordinary contributions in the fight against poverty. The Heroes Award is limited to three to four organizations and/or individuals. Qualities honored include tenacity, selflessness, innovation, and the ability to profoundly affect people’s lives. Previous recipients include Food Bank for New York City, Legal Aid Society, Mt. Sinai Adolescent Health Center, among others.
The Common Pantry’s pantry programs provide supplemental food for poor families in all five boroughs, and the hot meal and brown bag service to assist the homeless. The Common Pantry’s unique 365 program helps individuals and families access emergency food when other food providers are out of food or when food is out of reach due to hours of availability or location. In food pantry services alone, the Common Pantry has seen a 38% increase in families this year, most with young children. The Common Pantry last year connected New Yorkers with $1.12 million in benefits, and nutrition education classes to help pantry families stretch their food dollars. Through the Project Dignity program, the Pantry provides showers, laundry, haircuts and housing assistance, among other needs, to the homeless.
Earlier this year, a New York City family of four lost their home to a fire, leaving them homeless and entirely without possessions. They came to New York Common Pantry on East 109th Street for a hot meal. While there, they also received clothes, diapers for the baby and a referral to a family shelter. It was an affirmation of their dignity in the wake of life-changing trauma.
“What makes New York Common Pantry unique is that we provide a hand up for people,” says Executive Director Stephen Grimaldi. “It is a kind of poverty fighting machine that really addresses the needs of families in our community who are hurting and suffering.”
The Common Pantry has been supporting city families with food, resources and care since 1980. Last year, the Common Pantry served 6,200 families—roughly 14,500 people—through its pantry program, in which local families pick up a weekly “pantry package” with enough fresh and non-perishable food to feed every member of the family three meals a day for three days. Through the “24/7 YCP” program, anyone in the five boroughs can come to the pantry any day of the week from 8 a.m. to midnight to receive a hot meal and pantry package. If the family lives nearby, they can enroll in the pantry program; if not, the Common Pantry will connect them to a food provider in their community. “We want to help people gain access to food in a convenient, easy, dignified way,” Grimaldi says. Through the “CookShop” program, roughly 200 people participate in a monthly nutrition and cooking class, where participants learn to cut, prepare and incorporate fresh produce into their diets.
And the Common Pantry’s services extend well beyond food. “Project Dignity” provides everything from haircuts, laundry and mail service to vocational training, job referrals and connections to housing and counseling services. “New York Common Pantry is not just about providing people with resources,” Grimaldi says. “It’s allowing people a quality of life.”
Imagine There’s no Hunger, a campaign that will benefit World Hunger Year, kicked off at Hard Rock Cafe New York with a star-studded Red Carpet and Benefit Concert headlined by the band O.A.R. and featuring guest artist Arno Carstens. World Hunger Year (WHY) is a nonprofit organization that strives to fight against hunger and poverty in American and around the world. WHY invited O.A.R. fans to donate food to New York Common Pantry and food pantries in New Jersey and Long Island. At the Common Pantry, the response was enthusiastic with hundreds of pounds of food collected from fans who brought food to East Harlem. Hard Rock International topped off the concert kickoff by presenting New York Common Pantry with more than 2,200 pounds of nutritious food donated by Integra, Inc. and US Food Service of Metro New York.
The Common Pantry is grateful for the bi-weekly donations of fresh vegetables and greens we receive from Katchkie Farms/Greater Performances. Katchkie Farms is a year-round organic farming operation owned by the renowned catering firm, Great Performances, founded by Liz Neumark. After their large catering events, we receive healthy and delicious prepared foods for our clients. Katchkie Farms has a strong commitment to philanthropy, donating 5% of its annual harvest to selected non-profit hunger organizations, including the Common Pantry. To find out more about Katchkie Farms, read Liz Neumark’s blog on the Huffingpost.
Wachovia employees joined the Common Pantry’s efforts to help reduce hunger in New York. The enthusiastic group of volunteers helped pack and distribute groceries to individuals and families in our pantry. Wachovia is one of many corporations that visit the Common Pantry and directly impact New York’s neediest. Here are some photos from their visit to the pantry
$25 donations feed a family of five this Thanksgiving
--- Today, New York Common Pantry, the city’s largest food pantry, launches its annual “Let’s Talk Turkey”
drive running now through Thanksgiving. The goal is to provide as many as 1,800 New York families with a turkey and all the trimmings.
The Common Pantry is asking individuals and businesses for donations of $25
to help provide Thanksgiving dinner for a family in need.
“Thanksgiving gives us the opportunity to ‘talk turkey’ about the impact of the Great Recession and the new face of poverty in New York,” Stephen Grimaldi, executive director of New York Common Pantry. “New York Common Pantry is helping families hold on to their holiday traditions – even though they’ve fallen on hard economic times.”
For as little as $25, New York Common Pantry is able to give a family of five a turkey as well as stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, potatoes, gravy and dessert to prepare in their own home this Thanksgiving. “We provide the ingredients so that families can make their own celebrations and continue their own customs,” Grimaldi said.
New York Common Pantry will also provide hot meal Thanksgiving dinner service on Wednesday, November 25, starting at 4:30 p.m.
to celebrate the holidays.
Last year, the Common Pantry served more than 2 million meals, a record high in its 29-year history. the Common Pantry’s pantry programs provide supplemental food for poor families in all five boroughs, and the hot meal and brown bag service assist the homeless. The Common Pantry’s unique 365 program helps individuals and families access emergency food when other food providers are out of food or when food is out of reach due to hours of availability or location.
“Our food pantry, 365 and hot meal program make the Common Pantry the largest single site community food provider in New York. For less than the cost of a soda, the Common Pantry is able to serve a family with a nutritious meal,” added Grimaldi.
In food pantry services alone, the Common Pantry has seen a 38% increase in families this year, most with young children.
To donate to the “Let’s Talk Turkey” campaign, please make a check payable to New York Common Pantry at 8 E. 109th Street, New York, NY, 10029 or visit the Common Pantry online at www.nycommonpantry.org
Since 1981, New York Common Pantry has been dedicated to reducing hunger while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency. The Common Pantry champions the cause of the hungry through food pantry and meal distribution programs, nutrition education, basic hygiene services, homeless support, and related services. The Common Pantry’s community-based programs focus on East Harlem and other underserved communities throughout New York City.