Food treasures in New York City

Finding Ways To Give Back With Food

Culinary “finds” are not just about fun places to visit or interesting stores to shop at. I’m also interested in finding ways to use my culinary knowledge and passion in helping others. I’m continually disturbed by the startling data about hunger in New York City. There are about 1.4 million New Yorkers who need the resources provided by the city’s network of food pantries and soup kitchens.

According to the recently released  Serving under Stress Post-Recession: The State of Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens Today, the network has shrunken, and the economic environment has reduced the amount of financial support from private and public resources. Additionally, the amount of food available for distribution has decreased while the numbers of people needing this food has increased. Forty percent of the people needing food are turned away. Increasingly it’s because there is less food to distribute. Relief efforts from Hurricane Sandy have added to this burden.

Volunteers distributing food in Coney Island

Volunteers distributing food in Coney Island

Not surprisingly, food pantries and soup kitchens have very few paid workers serving clients. They cannot get by without the support of volunteers. For the past three years I’ve served as the volunteer chef for a Thanksgiving dinner Met Council sponsors for residents of three low-income senior housing units. With the help of volunteers, I prepare food for 60 people.

Met Council volunteers preparing food for Thanksgiving dinner

Met Council volunteers preparing food for Thanksgiving dinner

You can make a difference whether you volunteer for one hour or make a weekly commitment. Here are some places and organizations that need your help:

City Harvest

City Meals on Wheels

Food Bank for New York City

Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Island Harvest

Met Council

New York City Coalition Against Hunger

December 2, 2012 - Posted by | charity, Food, volunteering |

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for the info – will keep in mind for additional volunteer work. Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2012 13:30:56 +0000 To:

    Comment by Shirley Friedman | December 2, 2012 | Reply

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