Food Bank For New York City's food assistance network includes, but it is not limited to, the following program types:
Emergency Food Programs: There are several different types of emergency food programs that provide aid to hungry New Yorkers — food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters. Food Bank For New York City serves approximately 620 food pantries, 195 soup kitchens, and 45 shelters throughout the city.
Food Pantries: Food pantries provide bags of fresh and packaged food directly to families and individuals who use the food to prepare meals for themselves and their families. Typically good for three to five days, pantry bags are designed to provide nutritionally balanced meals. Many food pantries provide additional services, such as clothes distribution and referrals to social-service agencies.
After-school and Summer Programs: After-school and summer programs provide a comprehensive set of tools to address food poverty among our city's children. In addition to fun and educational services for school-age children that focus on nutrition, fitness and cultural activities with the goal of developing healthy lifestyles at an early age, these programs also offer free, prepared meals in a safe and nurturing environment. Our network's after-school and summer programs also act as key locations for the Food Bank's CookShop programs.
Low-Income Daycare Centers: Most low-income daycare centers in New York City provide two nutritious meals and a snack each weekday to preschool-age children. These centers fill a crucial need for working poor families who otherwise might not be able to afford child care. In addition, some low-income daycare centers run food pantries to provide food for the children's families.
Open Market BackPack Programs: Expanded from a Feeding America model, Open Market BackPack programs, teach children about nutrition and how to prepare healthy snacks and meals, and allows them to choose nutritous food items to bring home for the weekend.
Senior Centers: Senior centers offer nutritious, hot meals to seniors in addition to providing social services and recreational activities. Many senior centers also deliver food to the homebound and supply food packages for seniors to use when the program is not open.
Shelters: Shelters provide temporary housing and hot, nutritious meals for battered women and homeless families and individuals. In addition, many shelters provide referrals to other social-service agencies.
Soup Kitchens: Soup kitchens prepare hot, nutritious meals for people in need. Many soup kitchens also serve homebound individuals through meals-on-wheels programs that deliver warm meals to individuals' homes. The larger soup kitchens in New York City serve as many as 1,000 meals a week.
Rehabilitation Centers: Rehabilitation centers include residential and outpatient programs that provide rehabilitation services and nutritious meals to people struggling with substance abuse and those with mental and/or physical disabilities. Many rehabilitation centers provide food packages for clients and their families in addition to job training, empowerment clinics and social-service referrals for clients and their families. The residential centers often house people who would otherwise be homeless.
Youth Programs: Youth programs include after-school programs and programs for runaway youth and youth considered "at risk," where snacks or afternoon meals are served.