Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Project Title

Expanding Collective Purchasing Capacity Across New York City Food Pantries

Grant Amount


Priority Area

Healthy Food, Healthy Lives

Date Awarded

March 12, 2024




In Progress


Inflation, rising rents, and other factors have led to high rates of food insecurity in New York City, increasing demand on the emergency food system of food banks and food pantries.

Food banks are regional entities that source and aggregate food, while food pantries are community-based sites that provide people in need with free food. Food banks receive funding from the government to purchase food on behalf of food pantries. At West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH), demand for food has increased substantially. Many clients are also requesting more fresh produce and products from their countries of origin. In 2018, NYHealth awarded WSCAH a grant to launch a collective purchasing program among emergency food providers. That successful pilot program evolved into an alliance of eight of the largest emergency food providers in the City, called the Roundtable, working to increase food pantries’ ability to purchase healthy, fresh foods at affordable prices. In 2024, NYHealth awarded WSCAH a grant to enable more food pantries across New York City to procure competitively priced, fresh, healthy, culturally relevant foods for clients.

Under this grant, WSCAH will expand the availability of its collective purchasing program to more emergency food programs across New York City. It will identify and engage new food pantry participants, including smaller pantries. It will also develop an online ordering tool, provide technical assistance to additional pantries interested in making healthier purchases, and advocate for more direct funding that will provide food pantries more flexibility to purchase competitively priced healthy foods.