HOW IT STARTED
Starting in September 2020 a pilot project began with the three schools located at the Joan of Arc complex (JOA), located at 154 West 93rd St on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Our team of volunteers picks up a prearranged set of prepared and packaged meals from the local schools provided by DOE’s Office of Nutrition and Food Services. Our team of volunteers then delivers the meals, a short walk away, to our partnering neighborhood pantries that are stressed by the increased number of clients during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This pilot program, as of June 25, 2021, has delivered:
- 9,028 breakfasts
- 8,978 lunches
- 18,294 pounds of food
- Daily average of 100 pounds of donated meals
As a result of the tremendous need and positive feedback from the initial pilot, we are now able to expand to two new schools on the Upper West Side of Manhattan: P.S. 75, located at 735 West End Avenue, on 95th street, and to P.S. 163, located at 163 West 97th Street, Amsterdam Avenue. Volunteers are needed to bring these sites to a full five-day schedule. Click below to sign-up and volunteer.
WHY THE NEED
Before the pandemic, about 12% of residents were reporting food insecurity fears, that percentage has jumped to 32% of surveyed residents, according to a report from the Robin Hood Foundation.
The ‘Grab and go ‘ meals we provide help to meet the needs of those who are truly homeless, who have no place to store or prepare a meal.
Many pantries meet the needs of their clients on Saturdays. The DOE only runs food hubs run Monday through Fridays. Our deliveries to the pantries on Fridays are then able to be refrigerated by the pantry for disbursement on Saturday when they have their largest demand.
We can deliver Kosher school meals to food pantries, which the pantries themselves may be unable to provide.
Working with the DOE we can adjust the amount of the allocation of delivered food to meet the changing needs of the pantry.
We are a volunteer team, bringing together neighbors, school staff and parents, church members, and pantry workers to address the issue of hunger in our city.
CURRENT LIST OF SCHOOLS
The Manhattan School for Children, P.S. 333, grades K – 8
The Lafayette Academy, M.S. 256, grades 6 – 8
The Community Action School, M.S. 258, grades 6 – 8
The Emily Dickinson School P.S. 75
The Alfred E Smith School P.S. 163
CURRENT LIST OF PANTRIES
The Advent Lutheran Church at 2504 Broadway at 93rd Street
Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church at 225 West 99th Street
The Seventh Day Adventist Church at 161 West 93rd Street
The Franciscan Community Center at 214 West 97th Street
To continue this much-needed work we need your help! Please consider volunteering.
“I am writing on behalf of St. Michael’s Saturday Kitchen, located at 225 West 99th St. in Manhattan. . . Marshalling resources and gathering supplies has always been a challenge, whether they be grants, donations, food or goods. . . In mid-September, we began working with Mr. Winter to implement his pilot program. Thanks in part to his program and Mr. Winter’s insights, we have been able to significantly expand our weekly offerings, ultimately feeding more than 1,000 people in our community. That it only took a little effort to help fill the bellies of 1,000 of our neighbors is incredible and must be commended. I can only imagine how many would benefit from this program if offered to communities on a larger scale. Without reservations, I heartily endorse this program and hope to see it implemented throughout the city."
Ray Luetters // Kitchen Manager // St. Michael’s Church
“We are writing in support of Mr. Bernard Winter’s food rescue program. We have been working with Mr. Winter since September 2020 and were very excited to be part of such a much-needed program. . . Partnering with Bernard and his amazing initiative has greatly helped us meet the growing need of our community. Last week alone, we were able to hand out 298 prepackaged meals because of Bernard and his team of volunteers. . . We would love to see him grow this program because this is such a great step in the right direction for food insecurity and making very real strides in lessening food waste."
Pastor Danielle Miller // Advent Lutheran Church
“As Principal of PS 333, The Manhattan School for Children, located at 154 West 93rd Street on the Upper West Side, I am writing to give my enthusiastic endorsement for the proposal to deliver prepared and packaged meals to our neighborhood food pantries. . .
I believe that the documented evidence in his proposal is impressive. If this kind of initiative were to be established for city-wide implementation in our public schools, I am certain that it would go far to alleviate the strain that our neighborhood food pantries are undergoing in meeting the needs of many New York City families who are experiencing food insecurity."
Claire Lowenstein // Principal, PS 333 // The Manhattan School for Children
“Mr. Bernard Winter carefully wrote a proposal to address the mandates of the Office of Food and Nutrition Services, food handling protocols, and COVID safety protocols. His efforts to deliver school meals to our neighborhood pantries are known and supported by my administration, staff, the parents’ association, families, and students at our school."
Andrew H. Sullivan // Principal // Community Action School, MS258
“I am writing to give my enthusiastic endorsement for the proposal to rescue leftover meals from schools that have not been picked up by families and distribute them to local food pantries. . . As a member of CB7, the Open Hearts Initiative, the School Leadership Team at PS166 and as a candidate for City Council, I have spent the last 10 months on the ground in this community working to support our neighbors dealing with food insecurity . . . So many people have come together to make sure everyone has enough to eat. But it’s heartbreaking to know that still so many New Yorkers go hungry . . . If food delivery protocols were to be established for city-wide implementation in our public schools, I am certain that it would go far to alleviate the strain that our neighborhood food pantries are undergoing in meeting the needs of many New York City families who are experiencing food insecurity."
Sara Lind // Candidate for City Council District 6