Giving Back During the COVID-19 Crisis: Food Relief Organizations You Should Support Now

By , Managing Director
Giving Back During the COVID-19 Crisis: Food Relief Organizations You Should Support Now

Capalino hopes that you and your loved ones are remaining safe and healthy during these uncertain times and that all those affected by the coronavirus recover quickly and are returned to health.  We also want to recognize the tremendous sacrifice of our first responders, health care workers and government officials who are working tirelessly to respond to this unprecedented global pandemic.

As the coronavirus swiftly spreads across New York City, making it an epicenter of the pandemic, it is easy to feel helpless. Especially as we practice social distancing, close businesses and lay off workers.

While the impact has been toughest on New York, the amazing outpouring of support and caring has also skyrocketed. From companies donating masks and ventilators to hospitals, to everyday people helping their neighbors, every person has the capacity to be a responder and inspire change.

All things considered, we realize this is a vital moment to come together and turn our attention to those most vulnerable in our communities across New York City.

One of the many challenges that New Yorkers are facing is food insecurity, which has increased during this crisis. Prior to the pandemic, 1 in 8 New Yorkers were unable to afford food. Now, the need has grown exponentially because senior centers are closed, children are out of school, and more and more people are losing jobs. This is exacerbated by the fact that over 10% of the pantries have closed due to social distancing.

Now more than ever, ensuring access to food is paramount in these unprecedented times. Fortunately, there are many organizations that are continuing to provide food and meals to our city’s most vulnerable.

Below, we’ve curated a list of food-relief organizations you can support during this crisis:

  1. God’s Love, We Deliver: Provides cooked and home-delivered nutritious meals free of charge for those living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses, as well as provides ongoing nutrition assessment, education, and counseling. Due to their essential service provider designation, they will continue to cook and deliver meals with new safety protocol for volunteers, drivers and delivery staff.
  2. Citymeals on Wheels: Provides home-delivered meals and vital companionship to elderly, homebound New Yorkers. To address the crisis, Citymeals was designated an essential service provider and has doubled its warehouse staff and recruited hundreds of volunteers to pack boxes and bags for delivery across the city. They are now serving now serving an additional 22,000 older people who typically get their breakfast and lunch at local senior centers. They are also preparing and delivering an additional 300,000 emergency meals.
  3. Food Bank for New York City: As the city’s largest hunger-relief organization, they provide a myriad of services to low-income New Yorkers across the five boroughs such as food distribution, SNAP assistance, and nutrition education. In response to the crisis, Our Community Kitchen and Food Pantry in Harlem remains open and they are also offering to-go meals and pantry bags.
  4. No Kid Hungry: A national campaign part of Share Our Strength, they are focused on ending childhood hunger and working with local partners to provide school breakfasts, summer meals, afterschool meals, and food skills education. In response to the crisis, they are providing emergency grants to school districts, food banks and community organizations feeding kids nationwide.
  5. New York Cares: Mobilizes caring New Yorkers in volunteer service, including emergency preparedness and response programs. They are the city’s lead agency designated by New York City Emergency Management for mobilizing volunteers in cases of citywide emergencies, and will continue to provide services such as meal delivery to vulnerable populations.
  6. Invisible Hands: Provides free home deliveries of supplies and groceries for the most at-risk community members facing COVID-19. This organization was recently formed in response to the crisis and already has 7,000+ volunteers across New York City.

Although the coronavirus pandemic has us in uncharted territory, we know our collective, charitable efforts will show the world the resilience and kindness embedded in New York City’s character. Above all, let us use this crisis as an opportunity to uplift one another and help stop the coronavirus outbreak in its tracks.

It’s more important than ever for individuals, companies, and nonprofits to find creative ways to assist those in need. We can help.  Contact us at or 212.616.5832.

Social Impact Services

Jeanne Mullgrav

About the Author

Jeanne Mullgrav

Jeanne is the former Commissioner of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development with over three decades of experience working at the intersection of government, nonprofits and the private sector.

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