District News

Where Those In Need Can Get Food

Apr 8, 2020
a young girl holds a plate of food from a meal hub

If you or someone you know are in need of food, there are many ways that free meals can be picked up or delivered straight to your door. Check out the information below on how to access food and help others during the COVID-19 crisis.

Thanks to the Lincoln Square BID's efforts, Goddard Riverside has agreed to set up a dedicated direct link to their relief fund to support local families with emergency needs at the Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center, which is run by Goddard. The link is live, so you can give back to our community now! Contributions will be directed towards a family in need of food, medical supplies, transportation or other necessities due to COVID-19. CLICK HERE TO DONATE!

The NYC Department of Education (DOE) has committed to making three free meals available daily for any New Yorker at more than 400 Meal Hubs across the city. In the Lincoln Square area, MLK's High School for Law, Advocacy and Community Justice (122 Amsterdam Avenue) is a designated Meal Hub. Click here for more information on the program and on how to find your local meal hub.

Hunger Free NYC, a project of the Hunter College Food Policy Center, has produced comprehensive Neighborhood Guides to Food & Assistance containing detailed information on free food access-- such as SNAP, WIC, school meals, senior meals, soup kitchens and food pantries, and farmer's markets that accept SNAP as payment. 

The West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) is distributing pre-packed bags of food Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:00am – 1:00pm outside 263 West 86th Street. Bags contain shelf stable milk, whole grains, canned proteins and a combination of fresh and canned fruits and vegetables. The bags are made for a household size of three and make up three meals a day for four days for each household member. Customers can pick up one of these bags once per month and do not need to have been previously registered with WSCAH. WSCAH will be doing on-site registration for new customers, and you do not need to provide any documents to register right now. Click here for more information and to check out other virtual services that are being offered.  Also, anyone who is interested in SNAP, or any other social services, can call and be screened by WSCAH's social service counselors.  These counselors are working entirely remotely, and will work with clients to submit documents digitally or otherwise. No one will need to go to WSCAH to provide documentation. Click here to read a flyer about WSCAH's services and how to help out

If you want to make your trip to a food pantry quicker and easier, check out the app Plentiful. Plentiful is a free, easy-to-use reservation system for food pantries and the people they serve created in collaboration with City Harvest and the United Way of New York City. Use Plentiful to find pantries and get the food you need while practicing social distancing. To begin, text “FOOD” to PANTRY (726-879) from any phone or download the Android App. You can find a pantry on app by searching by location, amenities, or service times and make a reservation to pick up food. Then, you can just show up to the food pantry when it’s your turn and avoid waiting in line.

CityMeals on Wheels is actively delivering emergency meals to home-bound older adults across the City. To receive meals, you must be 60 years of age or older, be physically or mentally incapacitated and in need of some assistance, be unable to prepare nutritious meals or have no one to do so for you, and be able to live safely at home if services are provided to you. If you believe you are eligible, call your Case Management Agency directly for more information and to begin receiving meals. Visit CityMeals on Wheel’s website to find your local Case Management Agency by zip code. City Meals on Wheels is a local partner of Wheels on Meals America. To find other Meals on Wheels providers in your local neighborhood, visit their website and search by your zip code.

In response to social distancing and recommendations for older adults to remain in their homes, all NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA)-funded senior centers are currently closed for congregate programming. Congregate meals are now being delivered to the homes of senior center members through a centralized delivery system. Older adults receive a five-meal package for each weekly delivery. Non-DFTA senior center members can sign up to receive a daily meals in a number of ways. The basis for the individual’s need will help determine the most appropriate method. Homebound older adults can receive home-delivered meals through a DFTA-funded case management agency. If an older adult is not homebound, the senior center direct delivery system may be the most appropriate resource for meals. In this case, older adults should call their local senior center to sign up to receive directly delivered meals. They can also email agingconnect@aging.nyc.gov or call Aging Connect at 212-AgingNYC (212-244-6469) or 311.

The City has also created the GetFoodNYC food delivery program to provide food for coronavirus vulnerable and food insecure New Yorkers not currently served through existing food delivery programs. Learn more and sign up for the GetFoodNYC program. And, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has put together a comprehensive guide on resources and information on food around the City, which is updated regularly. 

We will continue to provide updates as we receive new information; however, information changes frequently, so please check with individual organizations and agencies for the most up-to-date information. And contact us if you have questions via email at info@lincolnsquarebid.org.

Photo credit: FoodCorps