FreshDirect and NY Common Pantry reimagine the pantry model with launch of new mobile pantry

FreshDirect, the Northeast’s leading pure play online fresh food grocer, and its charitable partner, NY Common Pantry (NYCP), announced the launch of a new mobile pantry last week.
Photos by John J Kelly III

FreshDirect, the northeast’s leading pure play online fresh food grocer, and its charitable partner, NY Common Pantry (NYCP), announced the launch of a new mobile pantry last week. A roll-out event marking the launch of the mobile pantry took place Friday at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, at 295 St. Ann’s Avenue.

Made possible by FreshDirect customer donations, the fully equipped vehicle, which will travel the streets of New York City, is the latest innovation in reimagining the pantry model and fighting food insecurity and hunger.

The NYCP Mobile Pantry will bring fresh food, nutrition education and social services (all available at their East Harlem and Bronx locations), directly to food insecure New Yorkers in their own neighborhoods throughout New York City. Executives from FreshDirect’s operations team provided counsel on the design of the vehicle and special features to maximize the service offerings of the mobile pantry.

“We are proud of our successful partnership with NYCP, which is now in its second year,” said Dave Bass, managing director, FreshDirect. “The NYCP Mobile Pantry is another example of how our combined resources and expertise are leveraged to expand our reach, get us closer to our neighbors in need and combat food insecurity in New York City.”

The 22-foot customized vehicle is fitted with refrigerators and freezers to properly store proteins, produce, and dairy and has ample shelving for shelf stable items. There is a window and concession door to take orders and for serving clients. Additionally, social services staff will have the ability to sign people up for Choice Pantry Membership at the truck, provide emergency food, and assist people with accessing benefits including SNAP.

Beginning in February 2020, the philanthropic collaboration between FreshDirect and NYCP has provided FreshDirect customers with an opportunity to join the fight in preventing food insecurity through contributions to NYCP via point-of-sale donations which directly benefit the organization. Customers can support the cause and the organization’s good work through a variety of easy donation options, ranging from $1.34  (the cost of one pantry meal) to $100 (the cost of one year of pantry groceries for a family in need) on FreshDirect.com. As part of the partnership, FreshDirect is also providing office space, at its state-of-the-art facility in the Bronx, to the NYCP’s Bronx-based corporate employees at no cost to NYCP.

“When we decided to launch our Mobile Pantry program and envisioned a specialized Mobile Pantry truck, FreshDirect once again stepped up to offer ideas, advice and technical knowhow,” said Stephen Grimaldi, executive director of NYCP. “With their guidance we’ve built a comprehensive, complete Choice Pantry on wheels. This Mobile Pantry provides the same services we provide at our East Harlem and Bronx brick and mortar locations and will change the way entire communities eat, communities too long unable to access the fresh food and resources traditionally only offered at physical pantries.”

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