Our Mission & History

West Side Campaign Against Hunger’s (WSCAH) mission is to alleviate hunger by ensuring that all New Yorkers have access with dignity to a choice of healthy food and supportive services. 

Our Journey:

1979: WSCAH is founded in the basement of St. Paul & St. Andrew with a commitment to providing the healthiest food possible, with dignity, and empowering customers and the community we serve. In our first year of operations, WSCAH serves 863 families with 7,000 pounds of food.

1993: WSCAH creates the first customer-choice supermarket-style pantry in the United States, offering a choice of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, dairy. WSCAH serves over 6,000 families with 150,000 pounds of food.

2017: WSCAH launches our first Mobile Market partnership, bringing choice offerings to our customers’ neighborhoods. In the following years, the Mobile Market expands to 15 partnerships in Manhattan and The Bronx. WSCAH supports 8,500 families with 1.7 million pounds of healthy food.

2020: The Covid-19 pandemic causes a surge in food insecurity. WSCAH moves our 86th Street distribution streetside and shifts Benefits Access services to virtual support to create the safety and efficiency our customers and staff need. In response to the alarming increase in need WSCAH temporarily expands our food access sites from 16 to over 60 at the height of the pandemic, allowing WSCAH to provide 4.4 million pounds of food to over 25,000 families. We continue to maintain 30 access sites in Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Manhattan. 

2022: WSCAH pilots two new delivery models for healthy food: 1) a home food delivery model allowing customers to select the healthy food they want and have it delivered to a convenient location at home or in their neighborhood, and 2) our Community Hub Initiative, which allows WSCAH customers currently traveling to 86th Street to pick up food to opt into picking up from a conveniently located Community Hub site, instead. Our first Community Hub launches in Crotona Park, the Bronx. WSCAH serves more than 27,000 families with 3.9 million pounds of food.

2023: WSCAH announces the opening of a food storage and distribution hub in Washington Heights. This state-of-the-art warehouse boasts an increase of 30x our current refrigeration capacity (1,800 lbs to 54,000 lbs), and vastly expanded freezer and shelf stable storage. The new facility will open in early 2024.

WSCAH – Hangry for Change

WSCAH is excited to share our inaugural oral history podcast, Hangry for Change. Please listen to learn more about our work, our history, and the people who are the center of what we do every day.