Healthy Food Access

WSCAH is one of the largest Emergency Food Providers in NYC and has been at the forefront of innovation for 43 years, developing the first customer-choice supermarket-style pantry in the United States. In 2017, WSCAH added a Mobile Market Program (MMP), bringing a supermarket-style shopping experience to customers in high-need neighborhoods across NYC. The MMP addressed food insecurity head-on, reducing barriers associated with travel and creating more access points for healthy food, including fresh produce.

In 2020, as the pandemic accelerated the demand for emergency services, WSCAH scaled its food distribution through partnerships with community-based organizations across NYC, and launched WSCAH’s Community Hub Initiative. Community Hubs ensure access for New Yorkers to healthy food and supportive services where convenient. Hubs are partnerships between WSCAH and community-based organizations that have an established presence in their community and want to address food insecurity. WSCAH provides a turn-key program by bringing customized boxes of food, ready for household distribution, and supportive services to organizations located conveniently to home or work. WSCAH maintains 30 distribution sites across Manhattan, The Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn.

WSCAH also addresses the underlying root causes of food insecurity through advocacy and providing access to benefits.  Our Benefits Access Department assesses all first-time customers to identify their benefits eligibility.  Through direct enrollment, WSCAH provides customers access to benefits such as SNAP (food stamps).  WSCAH has strong referral partnerships to help our customers gain access to WIC, shelter resources, financial counseling, tax preparation, educational and employment programs, immigration legal assistance, benefits, housing advocacy, and further food assistance programs.

In the financial year 2022 (July 2021 – June 2022), WSCAH served over 70,000 customers with more than 4 million pounds of healthy food.

55% of all food distributed was fresh fruits and vegetables.