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Food Insecurity

Food Insecurity

There are many ways to work with the Central community to increase access to healthy food across the city.

Central Community Fridge Project

Central Synagogue is proud to partner with Grassroots Grocery and the NYCHA Holmes House Tenant Association to bring the first Community Fridge to the Upper East Side (NYCHA Holmes Towers, 1760 1st Avenue). The fridge is open 24/7 and provides dignified food access to our neighbors. Register for volunteer opportunities here.

Sandwich Making for the Community Fridge

Central members are invited to make sandwiches for the Community Fridge together before Shabbat services on the second and fourth Friday of every month. Members, please check your email to register.

Breakfast Program
Thursdays & Fridays, 6:00–7:30 am | Pavilion

The Breakfast Program, formerly known as the Caring Committee Feeding Program, is among Central Synagogue’s longest ongoing social justice projects. Originally conceived and implemented by longtime congregant Nat Shapiro in 1983, the Breakfast Program was started in response to Mayor Koch’s outcry for New York City’s religious institutions to respond to an exploding homeless and hungry problem. Today, many clients of the Breakfast Program are people who work multiple jobs and greatly appreciate and regularly rely on the warm, nutritious start to their day. Currently, our volunteers are helping to distribute premade sandwiches and other “to-go” items from the doors in front of the Pavilion entrance. Social distancing is observed and a contactless pickup system for the food has been arranged.

Sign up is required in advance to volunteer. For more information or to sign up, contact us.

Met Council

Met Council is America’s largest Jewish charity dedicated to serving the needy. Met Council’s ten different departments are staffed by experts who helped over 305,000 clients in 2020 and continuously advocate on behalf of all needy New Yorkers on issues of affordable housing, domestic violence, Holocaust survivor assistance, senior programming, and food insecurity. An example of Central's recent service opportunities with Met Council was packaging food deliveries for Holocaust survivors at the Met Council's Greenpoint, Brooklyn, warehouse.

The Hour Children Community Pantry

Hour Children is a leading provider of services to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women in New York State. Focused on women and their children, they support families during a mother’s incarceration and help families get back on their feet upon release by providing housing, childcare, job training, and mental health services.

Central is working with Hour Children on several projects, including teen mentorship and in their food pantry the second Tuesday of each month.

Green Bronx Machine

Green Bronx Machine builds healthy, equitable, and resilient communities through inspired education, local food systems, and 21st Century workforce development. Dedicated to cultivating minds and harvesting hope, our school-based model using urban agriculture aligned to key school performance indicators grows healthy students and healthy schools to transform communities that are fragmented and marginalized into neighborhoods that are inclusive and thriving. A recent example of our work with Green Bronx Machine was to help prepare for spring 2021 planting day at the biggest organic soil farm in the Bronx—Food for Others Garden—where 100% of the produce grown supports families in need. Look out for Fall Harvests Dates in the Weekly!