New York Common Pantry Programs

Choice Pantry
Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, our Choice Pantry Program, New York City’s largest community-based food pantry, allows its thousands of participants to choose culturally appropriate, nutritionally balanced food packages.  This model empowers our Pantry members to be active participants in the distribution process by encouraging them to pick the nutritious food they would like to receive.  Pantry members can order their food in advance via the Common Pantry’s website or order on-site by using wireless touch-screen tablets.  Volunteers pack each bag according to each Pantry member's specifications with selections in each of the major food groups.

Anyone who wishes to register to receive food from the Pantry can stop by the Help 365 window between 9am-8pm Monday through Saturday and 4pm to 8pm on Sunday.  They must bring photo ID for all adults in the household; ID for all children in the household, ie. Birth certificate, school letter; proof of address, ie rent receipt or lease; and proof of income and/or benefits, ie letter from employer, pay stub, award or budget letter.

Help 365 Case Management
This Single Stop USA funded program is open 365 days a year to all Pantry members and provides screening by case managers to check for sufficient family income and resources.  Help 365 staff assist with acquiring benefits and entitlements, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Social Security Supplemental Income; and provide assistance with accessing the other appropriate resources to prevent families from being evicted from their homes and by making employment referrals.  Through unique collaborations with social service providers, Help 365 staff directly process SNAP and Medicaid applications for families on-site.  In addition, Help 365 provides ready-to-eat brown bag meals on days that there is no hot dinner.

For those who cannot be enrolled in our Pantry program or do not have a residence to cook, NY Common Pantry offers Brown Bag meals through our Help 365 program.   Brown bag meals containing a sandwich, a snack, and a drink and are available at the Help 365 window on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and holidays from 4:00PM to 5:00 PM.

Through a partnership with the Food Bank for New York City, Help 365 Mobile helps people throughout New York City access benefits.

Project Dignity
Project Dignity provides case management services to homeless individuals.  Case managers offer counseling and referral services, access to benefits and entitlements, substance abuse treatment, and other medical and social services.   Project Dignity's array of services is also designed to meet the most basic needs of the Common Pantry's clients — food, haircuts, mail service, laundry—as well as the larger, more challenging issues they face—long-term housing, health care, and benefits.  The goal of the program is to serve as a bridge back to health, well-being and self-sufficiency for our homeless and hungry clients.

Nutrition Initiative
This program educates adults, children, and their families about healthy eating, nutrition and active living. Classes are held both on-site and at community organizations around New York City.  Recipes used in cooking segments feature items distributed in the Pantry program and encourage Pantry members to use Pantry staples to create nutritious, satisfying meals.  In addition, the children's classes take field trips to local farmers' markets and to a farm in New York's Columbia County to enhance their learning experience.  Live Healthy! encourages participants to embrace healthy eating, active living, resiliency skills, and social support to improve overall quality of life.

Hot Meal Program
This program serves breakfast Monday through Friday and hot dinner on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  All meals are cooked on premises and our staff cooks prepare hearty balanced meals with wholesome ingredients.  Beyond providing nutritious food, the program offers participants a chance to sit, eat, and socialize in a relaxing, safe, friendly atmosphere that offers a retreat from the stressors of being homeless or living in poverty.

Breakfast is served Monday-Friday in the lower level at the Common Pantry from 8:00-9:30am.  Anyone is welcome.

Dinner is served Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the lower level at the Common Pantry from 4:30pm-6:0pm.  Anyone is welcome.