A Message on the Holiday Season

The last two years have been incredibly difficult for many. 

The confluence of food insecurity, an often inadequate medical care system, and social isolation have cruelly conspired to challenge and, in some cases, devastate the communities we serve. 

As the weather gets crisp, and another holiday season approaches, NYCP is bracing itself for a massive spike in demand which has grown since the start of the pandemic. 

Put simply, we need your support.

Last holiday season we saw an increased demand for our Thanksgiving food, as our guests told us stories about being away from their families, having to cook alone, eat alone and spend the holidays alone. We knew then what more we had to do–offer not only holiday pantry and takeaway meals, but also a full-fledged Thanksgiving hot meal dinner–albeit outside and under heated tents to minimize transmission of the virus. We accomplished more than serving 400 meals that day, we also shared the holiday, ate together with our neighbors and re-established a feeling of community

During the months of November and December, we marched onward. We turned no one away, providing hot meals, pantry packages, and takeaway meals on the weekends, the day after Thanksgiving, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day — times when our participants told us they had a harder time accessing food. We provided toys and gift cards for families, and held a second festive outdoor event, this time with a special visitor from the North Pole. 

This year, building on the massive increase in demand over the last twelve months that resulted in a 37% increase in pounds of food distributed and a 28% increase in meals served, we have procured more turkeys than ever before and used every source we have at our disposal to overcome supply chain issues. We will provide 3,000 families with full Thanksgiving meal Pantry packages –a turkey and all the fixings, including fresh vegetables. In December we will again offer our families $25 gift cards.  

To do this, we need you

We need volunteers to unload trucks, label and pack bags of food, and distribute turkeys at our two pantry locations in the Bronx and in East Harlem. You can sign up for volunteer shifts here.

We need your donations too! A $50 contribution provides a family with a full Thanksgiving meal to prepare and share. And, in December, donations will help cover the costs of gift cards so our families can get special treats and toys for the holidays. You can make donations here.

You can also mail Target gift cards for $25 directly to us at:


New York Common Pantry

8 East 109th Street

New York, NY 10029

ATTN: Development Office 


Together we are a powerful reminder of how neighbors helping neighbors IS community. 


We are all NYCP community. 


I wish you and your families a happy, restful and enjoyable holiday season.


Stephen Grimaldi

Executive Director

New York Common Pantry