Our Model

West Side Campaign Against Hunger changes our perception of hungry people by working in partnership with them, providing food with dignity, and empowering customers to find solutions.

Our Mission

Through a supermarket-style food pantry, West Side Campaign Against Hunger alleviates hunger and creates a culture that promotes self-reliance and works for change.

How We Are Different

Respect for our customers is central to success. In 1993, we reorganized into a customer-choice, supermarket style food pantry. We respect our clients by letting them choose the food they need for themselves and their families.

In keeping with our principles, we have functioned as a cooperative system since day one. The majority of our volunteers are customers themselves, which emphasizes the strength-based approach of our services. Customer volunteers are involved in all aspects of West Side Campaign Against Hunger, including representatives serving on our board.

Between 1993 and 2013, we have been able to increase food distribution by 747%, reduce costs per meal from 80 cents to 55 cents, and improve food quality with fresh fruits and vegetables from the farmers’ markets and organic farms.

Interested in Implementing Our Model?

If you are interested in changing to the cooperative supermarket model, we can help. Traditionally, most food pantries hand out a pre-packed bag. Since 1997, when we presented the “Customer-Cooperative Supermarket Model” at the Second Harvest Annual Conference, the model has been implemented in New York City and across the United States. If you are interested in changing to the customer-choice model, we can help:

    West Side Campaign Against Hunger Progress In Meals
  • Arrange site visits so you can see how we function
  • Provide samples of materials, such as application form and shopping card
  • Share best practices developed from experience
  • Advise on room dimensions, set-up, and equipment

Below is a partial list of organizations that West Side Campaign Against Hunger has helped implement the customer choice model:

  • Riverside Church (New York, NY)
  • Project Hospitality (Staten Island, NY)
  • Full Gospel Tabernacle (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Hanson Place United Methodist Church (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Princeton Crisis Ministry (Princeton, NJ)
  • The Food Trust (Philadelphia, PA)
  • CARES Food Pantry (Baltimore, MD)

To get started, contact our Food Director at 212-362-3662 x126 or info@wscah.org