Our community needs us. We hear from those who walk through our doors every day that they are grateful for the food we give, the meals we serve, and the services we provide.
“Don’t give up on us” is our call to those who support our work—those who volunteer, donate, and spread the word about food insecurity in our city.
At a point in time when COVID-19 seems less lethal, when people are back and working, there still remains a persistent level of food insecurity for more than 1 million New Yorkers. We won’t give up on them. Please don’t give up on us.
While prices have come down from the highs of six months ago, the fact remains that, since March 2020, the cost of living has hit us all hard. NYCP is not immune: the cost of food and supplies is up. This is especially true of necessary Pantry staples: rice is up by 32%, peanut butter by 99%, milk by 33% and tuna fish by 53%. NYCP’s overall food costs have more than doubled.
While we continue to have wonderful dedicated volunteers, we need even more help. We are 62% below the level of volunteerism we had pre-pandemic. Demand remains high: we’ve served 49% more food this year than two years ago. We are currently serving hundreds of sites and, in fiscal year 2021, we surpassed 9.3 million meals served in one year.
In the coming months, in response to this demand, we’ll be opening NYCP’s Food Storage and Distribution Hub (The Hub) —a 23,000 sq. ft. facility that will allow us to increase our food distribution by approximately 2 million meals per year, centralize deliveries, pack for Mobile Pantry and Nourish, and store significantly more food than we can handle at our current spaces. Just in time too, as Thanksgiving comes and we’ll be able to reclaim the program spaces we’ve been using to store food and serve indoors again.
So, don’t give up on us. The need is still here, and so are we.
– Stephen Grimaldi
Executive Director, New York Common Pantry