PPUABA's "Nourishing Our Community" Initiative
A portion of the Nov 20, 2020 donation to Chance For Children
Published June 18, 2022⏱️
9 min read
Nourishing Our Community is PPUABA's initiative to help address the growing level of food insecurity in our community through the collaboration of PPUABA members to support local food pantries. Nourishing Our Community started in October, 2020.
We are happy to report that at the March 16, 2022 PPUABA meeting, attendees voted to approve a grant to Nourishing Our Community in the amount of $1,350. This will supplement contributions made by individual NOC participants and help offset the impact of substantial inflation in food prices over the past year.
We currently make 5 food deliveries each month to nearby food pantries. Twice each month, we purchase and donate fresh produce to Chance For Children, a food pantry in Crown Heights which provides groceries to approximately 200 families each week. We also purchase and donate fresh fruit twice monthly to CHIPS, an organization on the Park Slope / Gowanus border which addresses food insecurity and homelessness. CHIPS adds the fruit we donate to the ready-to-eat meals they provide to over 150 guests each day. Once a month, we pick up excess canned and packaged food donations from CHIPS and transfer those items to Chance For Children.
Additionally, just before Thanksgiving each year, Nourishing Our Community runs a special fund-raising campaign to enable purchase and donation of warm winter clothing for the clients of CHIPS' meal program, most of whom are experiencing homelessness. In Nov 2020, we purchased and donated 50 warm, hooded fleece sweatshirts. In Nov 2021, we purchased and donated 168 warm fleece-lined knit hats, 168 pairs of fleece gloves, and 168 fleece scarves. See photos below.
How does Nourishing Our Community work?
PPUABA members work together to support local food pantries. Participants make monthly recurring, one-time, or occasional financial contributions, or help with pickup and delivery of food, or both. Through the generosity of the owners of Foodtown on Vanderbilt Avenue, we are able to purchase cases of fresh fruit and produce at Foodtown’s wholesale cost with no markup. We are VERY grateful for Foodtown’s support!!!
- Contributors make a monetary contribution to help fund our food purchases. There is no minimum or maximum amount - each contributor decides how much they wish to contribute. Recurring monthly contributions help sustain the program but we greatly appreciate contributions on a one-time basis too! Please see How to contribute... below.
- Shopper / Deliverers participate in shopping / food pantry delivery trips of which we make 5 each month. Shopper / deliverers sign up on a monthly roster for whichever date(s) they are available. Usually 2 people participate in each pickup and delivery – we need both a driver and a passenger / helper. Pickups and deliveries are usually on Monday or Friday mornings at about 9:30am and take about an hour.
- Group coordinators solicit needs from the food pantries; set up the group’s schedule (for contributions, and for shopping / delivery trips); place orders at Foodtown in advance of each scheduled pickup; track contributions and donations; and report on activities at the monthly PPUABA meeting.
How to contribute to Nourishing Our Community
You can make contributions by Venmo or PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please choose "Sending to a friend" or “Personal” rather than "Paying for an item or service" or “Business” to help us avoid fees, and include a notation on your payment with your name and the words "Nourishing Our Community". You can also contribute by cash or check (payable to “Park Place – Underhill Avenue Block Association”) put into an envelope with a note including your name and the words “Nourishing Our Community” and dropped over the gate beneath the stoop at 319 Park Place. If you plan to make a monthly recurring contribution, please notify Marc Gordon at email@example.com.
How to participate as a shopper / deliverer
We need drivers with cars as well as passengers / helpers to help with the 5 pickups & deliveries we currently make each month. The group coordinator sends out a schedule each month, and volunteers sign up for the date(s) they can participate. To be added to the list of shopper / deliverers, please send an email to either Marc Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Jill Frasier at email@example.com. Please indicate whether or not you have a car.
About food insecurity in NYC
Food insecurity is a problem of alarming proportions in NYC, where it is estimated that over 1.5 million New Yorkers, including 1 in every 4 children, experience food insecurity. PPUABA’s Nourishing Our Community initiative aims to combat food insecurity AND to foster neighborly relationships by getting neighbors in our block association to work together supporting a local food pantry and soup kitchen.
Photos of some of our activities
Below are some additional photos of Nourishing Our Community activities.
June 17, 2022 delivery to Chance For Children - NOC volunteers Jill Frasier (pictured) and Den Gordon delivered 10 cases of carrots, onions and plum tomatoes to Chance For Children food pantry.
May 13, 2022 delivery to Chance For Children - On May 6th, Sister Burley, the director of Chance For Children, notified PPUABA Co-President Marc Gordon of a need for diapers, as several regular clients of the food pantry had newborns and were struggling to meet the additional expenses. Marc put out the call on several Prospect Heights Facebook groups as well as to the PPUABA membership. Pictured below, 21 cases of diapers and 3 Fresh Direct bags full of Fresh Direct bags which Marc collected and, assisted by Den Gordon, delivered to Chance For Children on May 13th.
April 29, 2022 delivery to Chance For Children - Once each month, PPUABA volunteers pick up excess donated canned and packaged food from CHIPS and transport it to Chance For Children's food pantry. In the first photo below, a CHIPS volunteer and PPUABA member Patti Veconi move one of several cartfuls of food to a waiting car; the second photo shows the car fully loaded; the delivery destination is Chance For Children's food pantry, where it will be distributed to approximately 200 families served each week. (Not pictured, PPUABA member Robin Ketchum, who took these photographs).
April 22, 2022 delivery to Chance For Children - PPUABA volunteers Mary Dale and Gerry Caroll delivered 10 cases of carrots, oranges and butternut squash purchased at wholesale from Foodtown, along with approximately 300 Fresh Direct bags collected by Marc Gordon from Prospect Heights residents.
April 04, 2022 delivery to CHIPS - PPUABA volunteer Patti Veconi with 2 cases each of bananas and oranges picked up at Foodtown and ready to be delivered to CHIPS to be added to the ready-to-go meals that CHIPS provides to upwards of 150 people 6 days per week. (Not pictured, PPUABA volunteer Den Gordon).
March 25, 2022 delivery to Chance For Children - A very full carload of canned and packaged food was picked up at CHIPS and delivered to Chance For Children by PPUABA co-president Robin Ketchum and NOC coordinator Jill Frasier.
March 21, 2022 delivery to CHIPS - PPUABA volunteer Phyllis Brody with 4 cases of fresh fruit delivered to CHIPS to be added to the ready-to-go meals that CHIPS provides to upwards of 150 people 6 days per week. (Not pictured, PPUABA volunteer Den Gordon).
February 4, 2022 delivery to Chance For Children - PPUABA shopper / deliverer Stacey Weinstein and a member of CFC's staff with part of today's produce donation to the food pantry. (not pictured, PPUABA shopper / deliverer Patti Veconi).
January 21, 2022 delivery to Chance For Children - PPUABA shopper / deliverer Mary Dale and CFC staff member "Coach" Johnson with a carload of fresh produce we purchased and delivered to the food pantry. (not pictured, PPUABA shopper / deliverer Patti Veconi).
November 22, 2021 delivery to CHIPS - After a very successful annual appeal to raise money to fund purchases of warm clothing for clients of CHIPS' meal program, we purchased and donated 168 fleece-lined knit caps AND 168 pairs of fleece gloves AND 168 fleece scarves.
November 08, 2021 delivery to CHIPS - a CHIPS staff member receives the 3 cases of McIntosh apples we donated to be added to the ready-to-go lunch bags CHIPS provides to their clients. Not in photo: PPUABA shopper / deliverers Robin Ketchum and Phyllis Brody.
October 08, 2021 delivery to Chance For Children food pantry - we purchased and delivered 11 cases of bananas, carrots, green peppers and zucchini, along with approximately 100 Fresh Direct bags donated by Prospect Heights neighbors. PPUABA shopper/deliverer Stacey Weinstein is pictured on the right with CFC volunteer Coach Johnson on the left. Not in photo: PPUABA shopper / deliverer and NOC coordinator Jill Frasier.
September 27, 2021 delivery to CHIPS - we purchased and delivered 3 cases of McIntosh apples which will be added to the ready-to-go lunch bags given to CHIPS' clients. PPUABA Co-President Robin Ketchum is pictured on the right, with a CHIPS volunteer on the left. Not in photo: PPUABA NOC coordinator Jill Frasier who assisted with the pickup and delivery.
September 17, 2021 delivery to Chance For Children food pantry - we purchased and delivered 3 cases each of apples, bananas, tomatoes and zucchini. PPUABA Co-President Robin Ketchum is pictured on the left with a CFC volunteer on the right. Not in photo: PPUABA shopper / deliverer Phyllis Brody.
August 06, 2021 delivery to Chance For Children food pantry - we purchased and delivered 6 cases of corn on the cob, 3 cases of tomatoes, and 3 cases of green peppers. The produce is pictured with two CFC volunteers who gratefully received our delivery.
July 09, 2021 delivery to Chance For Children food pantry - we purchased and delivered 6 cases of fresh corn, 2 cases of tomatoes and 3 cases of green peppers. Pictured is NOC coordinator Jill Frasier and CFC volunteer Mike; not pictured is PPUABA co-president and shopper / deliverer Robin Ketchum.
June 11, 2021 delivery to Chance For Children food pantry - we purchased and delivered 6 cases of Ensure, 100 pounds of onions, 144 pounds of carrots, 2 cases of oranges, 6 cases of spinach, along with 186 reusable Fresh Direct bags collected from Prospect Heights residents. Pictured is NOC coordinator Jill Frasier and CFC volunteer Mike; not pictured is PPUABA co-president and shopper / deliverer Marc Gordon.
May 21, 2021 delivery to Chance For Children food pantry - we purchased and delivered 16 cases of fresh fruit and vegetables, 12 cases of Ensure nutritional supplement, and approximately 110 large Fresh Direct shopping bags collected from Prospect Heights residents and useful to food pantry patrons. Pictured is PPUABA shopper Phyllis Brody; not pictured is PPUABA shopper Den Gordon.
April 23, 2021 delivery to Chance For Children food pantry - this photo shows some of the 13 cases of fruit and vegetables purchased and delivered. Pictured is PPUABA shopper / deliverer Marc Gordon; not pictured is Den Gordon.
March 26, 2021 delivery to Chance For Children food pantry - this photo shows just some of the 14 cases of fresh fruit and vegetables we purchased and donated, along with 93 Fresh Direct shopping bags collected from Prospect Heights residents and useful to food pantry patrons. Pictured is PPUABA shopper / deliverer Mary Dale; not pictured is Den Gordon.
March 3, 2021 delivery to CHIPS - 4 cases of oranges to be added to ready-to-eat meals provided for their soup kitchen clients. Not pictured, shopper / deliverer Marc Gordon.
February 26th 2021 delivery to Chance For Children - 11 cases of fresh fruit and vegetables were purchased and donated. Pictured is Marcia Kresge, a CFC volunteer, who gratefully accepted our donation. Not pictured are PPUABA shopper / deliverers Robin Ketchum and Heidi Rodewald.
January 22nd 2021 delivery to Chance For Children - we purchased and donated 8 cases of fresh fruit and vegetables and 5 cases of Ensure (for CFC's clients who need nutritional supplements), with shopper / deliverer Heidi Rodewald (not pictured, shoppers Mary Dale and Phyllis Brody).
January 10th 2021 delivery to Chance For Children - CHIPS donated over 750 pounds of canned soup and fruit, which CHIPS could not use, to Chance For Children. NOC volunteers arranged the donation, picked up the food from CHIPS and delivered it to CFC.
January 8th 2021 donation to Chance For Children, with shoppers Den Gordon and Mary Dale (not pictured, Marc Gordon). In addition to items purchased by PPUABA's Nourishing Our Community group, this donation included 12 cases of packaged food which NOC volunteers picked up from CHIPS and delivered to CFC.
December 2020 donations to Chance For Children, with shoppers Robin Ketchum and Mary Dale (not pictured, December shoppers Phyllis Brody and Richard Roth).
Packages of food to be distributed by Chance For Children, lined up and ready for pickup by clients.
Chance For Children also delivers food packages to those who are homebound and cannot come to the food pantry. These packages are labeled with each client's name and customized to their specific dietary needs.
50 sweatshirts purchased by PPUABA members - delivered to CHIPS on Nov 30, 2020