This winter, Episcopal Charities’ Board of Directors approved $578,000 in grants to be given out to 61 parish-sponsored outreach programs. Programs awarded range greatly in size and scope and are located all across the diocese of New York. They provide services to the working poor, the elderly, those living in poverty, and to specific vulnerable populations, including the homeless, immigrants, prisoners, the formerly incarcerated and their families, and individuals living with chronic illnesses.
Despite some positive economic indicators, poverty, unemployment, and lack of opportunity remain stubbornly entrenched in many neighborhoods and towns. Meanwhile, a 2016 reduction in federal benefits to single adults with no dependents has resulted in increasing numbers of guests at many soup kitchens and food pantries. Grant applications attest to an ever-growing demand for the essential services, hospitality, and fellowship our outreach programs offer.
Read on to learn more about the programs awarded.
All Saints, Manhattan: Community Meal, $2,400
Founded more than a decade ago, All Saints’ Community Meal is one of the few volunteer-run sit-down weekend meal programs in Midtown Manhattan. In 2016, All Saints’ provided 4,200 guests with hot meals and fellowship.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Manhattan: Cathedral Community Cares, $14,300
Founded in the 1980s in response to increasing HIV/AIDS diagnoses and corresponding homelessness, Cathedral Community Cares serves as a soup kitchen, clothing closet, and food stamp certification and health education center for nearly 14,000 disadvantaged members of the Harlem/Morningside Heights community.
Christ & St. Stephen’s, Manhattan: Brown Bag Lunch Program, $7,400
Christ and St. Stephen’s Church provides nutritious brown bag meals for 90 hungry guests every weekday. Volunteers distribute warm clothing during the winter months.
Christ Church of Ramapo, Suffern: Feeding Ministries, $13,400
Christ Church of Ramapo feeds low income Rockland County residents seven days a week. In addition to their meal program, Christ Church also has a weekly food pantry, ESL classes, job training and extensive referrals for health, food and housing services.
Church of the Epiphany, Manhattan: Wednesday Night Homeless Dinner, $4,300
The Wednesday Night Homeless Feeding Program provides a hot meals every week. The meal is accompanied by an on-site social worker who assists guests by providing referrals to social services as needed.
Church of the Good Shepherd, Newburgh: Shepherd’s Kitchen, $5,000
The Church of the Good Shepherd provides a hot meal, clothing and a safe place to rest every Saturday and Sunday for anyone in need. They serve nearly 11,000 guests every year.
Grace Church, West Farms, Bronx: Our Lord’s Soup Kitchen, $5,000
Our Lord’s Soup Kitchen serves hot meals twice a week and offers as well as a weekly food pantry. They also provide their guests with clothing, counseling, and referrals to other community organizations.
Grace Church, Middletown: Guild of St. Margaret Soup Kitchen, $25,000
The Guild of St. Margaret serves the hungry in Middletown 365 days a year, amounting to 45,000 breakfasts and lunches annually. In operation for more than 30 years, the Soup Kitchen is an anchor in its rural area, serving as an access point for benefits and other essential services.
Grace Church, Nyack: Grace’s Kitchen, $4,900
In 2016, after conversation with members of the Nyack Hunger Coalition, Grace Church started a Thursday morning breakfast program to serve the surrounding community. Teams of parishioner and community volunteers cook and serve a restaurant-style meal and provide referrals to local social service organizations.
Grace Church, White Plains: Grace’s Kitchen, $18,200
Grace’s Kitchen, formally the Grace Church Community Center Soup Kitchen, provides a hot midday meals every weekday. The program also provides informal counseling and referrals to other services (medical, mental health, substance abuse, documentation) as well as information about government benefits, housing programs and job opportunities.
Holy Apostles, Manhattan: Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen, $20,000
As the largest soup kitchen in New York City, Holy Apostles serves a hot, nutritious lunch every weekday to over 1,000 people in the sanctuary of the church. In addition, Holy Apostles offers counseling and referral services every weekday and holds several unique support groups and health and wellness classes for those in need. Holy Apostles is in the second year of a multi-year grant ($20,000 / year for 3 years).
Church of the Holy Trinity, Manhattan: Holy Trinity Neighborhood Center, $4,500
The Holy Trinity Neighborhood Center hosts a weekly senior lunch, a weekly neighborhood supper, and a nightly homeless shelter for up to 15 men, and delivers Thanksgiving dinner to the homebound. This year, the center will serve over 7,000 guests.
Holyrood Church, Manhattan: Friday Food Fest, $4,300
Friday Food Fest provides a warm and caring atmosphere where homeless and needy men, women and children are fed a balanced, nutritious meal in the Washington Heights neighborhood. They serve 5,000 meals annually.
St. Bartholomew’s Church, Manhattan: Crossroads Community Services, $25,000
Crossroads Community Services provides food, shelter and support to help hungry and homeless New Yorkers break out of the cycle of poverty. Services include breakfast offered four times a week, a choice food pantry providing over 90,000 meals a year, a homeless shelter, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, counseling services and benefit eligibility services. Crossroads Community Services was awarded a multi-year grant of $25,000 / year for 3 years.
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Manhattan: Soup Kitchen, $3,200
St. Ignatius’ Soup Kitchen provides two nourishing meals a week and offers brown bag meals for people on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They serve over 4,500 meals every year.
St. John’s Church, Kingston: Angel Food East, $13,300
Angel Food East provides fresh, nutritious, hot meals to sick and homebound individuals in Ulster County, and to their families and caregivers. Volunteers bring five hot meals weekly to more than 50 clients.
St. Margaret’s Church, Longwood, Bronx: Feeding Ministry, $5,500
Serving the poorest congressional district in the nation, St. Margaret’s in the South Bronx provides two meals every week for the community along with health and wellness classes and social service referrals.
Church of St. Matthew & St. Timothy, Manhattan: Sunday Meals, $3,700
The Sunday meals program serves hot meals during nine months of the year for people on the Upper West Side, and provides referrals to further services as well as monthly educational classes.
St. Michael’s Church, Manhattan: Outreach Program, $12,200
St. Michael’s serves a meal every Saturday morning and connects guests with a network of Upper West Side social services through their “Pilgrim Resource Center.” A health van also offers medical services to the community during the Saturday meal.
St. Peter’s Church, Port Chester: Neighborhood Dinner and Mobile Food Pantry, $12,000
The Neighborhood Dinner program provides hot meals on Sundays and every second Monday. St. Peter’s also runs a “Food Pantry Mobile” distributing food to families in need.
St. Simon the Cyrenian, New Rochelle: St. Simon Cares, $3,900
St. Simon’s parishioners currently assist members of Trinity-St. Paul’s with their weekday Brown Bag Lunch program. St. Simon’s is planning to extend services to reach more people who live on the streets with a mobile weekend distribution of bagged meals and toiletries.
Trinity-St. Paul’s Church, New Rochelle: Brown Bag Lunch, $4,000
A ministry of dedicated volunteers in New Rochelle, the Brown Bag Lunch Program serves hungry men and women a bag lunch every weekday, and offers a resting place in the parish hall. Books and clothes are also provided to guests.
Church of the Ascension, Mt. Vernon: Food Pantry, $3,000
Following the closure of two local food pantries, the Food Bank of Westchester asked the Church of the Ascension in Mt. Vernon to become a distribution site. Operations began in May, 2016, and the food panty served 1,300 guests in its first four months of operation.
Christ Church, New Brighton, Staten Island: Community Outreach and Holiday Baskets, $6,000
Christ Church provides holiday meal baskets for 300 Staten Island households on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. During the growing season, Christ Church provides fresh produce to low-income families through a Community-Supported-Agriculture program, and parishioners partner with Trinity Lutheran Church throughout the year to serve a monthly meal to low-income neighbors.
Christ the King, Stone Ridge: Rondout Valley Food Pantry, $10,600
Rondout Valley Food Pantry provides nourishment, education and advocacy for individuals and families in need. Food is distributed biweekly and their Backpack Program supplies children with supplementary food during the school year. In 2017 they will begin a collaborative project with the chaplaincy program at SUNY New Paltz to offer a mobile food pantry to students at SUNY Ulster.
Church of the Good Shepherd, Granite Springs:Food Pantry at the Community Center of Northern Westchester, $6,500
The Food Pantry at the Community Center of Northern Westchester is a “choice” pantry that distributes 5 days’ worth of food per client each month. In 2016, the Community Center, which also provides low-cost clothing and job skills training, had nearly 8,000 visits.
Grace Church, Port Jervis: Fed By Grace Food Pantry, $8,400
Serving an impoverished, rural area, Grace Church offers a monthly client choice pantry. Last year, they served over 4,000 guests.
Church of the Heavenly Rest, Manhattan: New York Common Pantry, $8,500
The New York Common Pantry is dedicated to reducing hunger throughout New York City while promoting dignity and self-sufficiency. Comprehensive services include a choice pantry, case management services, hot meals, brown bag meals, nutrition classes, and shower and laundry facilities for homeless individuals.
Iglesia San Andres’, Yonkers: Food Pantry, $17,300
Located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Westchester County, San Andres provides a choice food pantry, ESL and nutrition classes, immigration services and food delivery for the homebound elderly and ill.
St. James’ Church, North Salem and St. Andrew’s Church, Brewster: Brewster Community Food Pantry, $9,900
The Brewster Community Food Pantry is a collaboration between members of St. James’ and St. Andrews’ Episcopal Churches, as well as a members of a local Catholic church, students at local schools and the wider community. The Pantry operates twice a week and serves more than 1,800 families every year. In addition, they distribute clothing, household items, and childrens’ toys and books, and provide health screenings and social service referrals.
St. Andrew’s Church, Beacon and St. Luke’s Church, Beacon: Food Pantry, $4,800
A collaborative project of two parishes, St. Andrew’s and St. Luke’s, the food pantry distributes more than 3,000 food packages every year. Additionally, they provide school supplies for children and referrals to other social services.
St. Ann’s Church, Bronx: Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen, $24,600
In the nation’s poorest congressional district, St. Ann’s feeding programs reach over 80,000 Bronx residents each year with a biweekly food pantry and a weekly hot meal. They also provide clothing and social service referrals.
St. Edmund’s Church, Bronx: Food Pantry, $4,600
St. Edmund’s Food Pantry in the Bronx distributes food packages every week and periodically offers nutrition classes and social service referrals.
St. George’s Church, Newburgh: Food Pantry, $7,200
St. George’s Food Pantry has been distributing food packages within Newburgh since the 1990s, and last year they distributed food to over 8,000 guests. The program partners with external agencies to provide information and referrals to health and social services.
Church of Sts. John, Paul and Clement, Mt. Vernon: Food Pantry, $4,300
A small church in a high poverty area, the church of Saints John, Paul and Clement operates a weekly choice food pantry to feed those in need. Last year they served more than 13,000 guests.
St. John’s Church, Pleasantville: Pleasantville Community Garden, $4,000
The Pleasantville Community Garden has expanded to three locations, which are maintained by multi-generational volunteers to provide fresh, nutritious food to those in need within Westchester County. In addition, volunteers “rescue” produce at a local farmers market. The food is donated to local food pantries and low-income housing programs which serve over 1600 individuals.
St. John’s Church, Monticello: Caring Hands Food Pantry, $12,400
The Caring Hands Food Pantry provides food and hygiene items in a client-choice format to low-income residents of the Monticello area. The pantry refers clients to other services as needed.
St. Mark’s Church, Mount Kisco: Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry, $15,000
The Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry is a coalition of 13 faith communities dedicated to providing supplemental food to people in need in the greater Mount Kisco area. The Pantry, which served over 32,000 clients last year, is open twice a week and also makes delivieries to homebound guests. Additional services include nutrition and wellness education and help with WIC and SNAP benefit applications. This program is in the second year of a multi-year grant ($15,000/year for 3 years).
St. Mary’s Church, Manhattanville, Manhattan: Food Pantry & Soup Kitchen, $13,100
St. Mary’s offers a range of services to the people of West Harlem including a choice food pantry, a mobile soup kitchen, a weekly movie night and postal service for the homeless, a thrift store and a brown bag lunch delivery program for the homeless around Harlem.
St. Mary’s Church, Mohegan Lake: Community Food Pantry, $13,000
The Food Pantry at St. Mary’s is an interfaith nonprofit providing supplemental and emergency food and nutrition and health referrals, while advocating around issues affecting the hungry and homeless. Last year, they provided food to over 2,100 unduplicated residents of Mohegan Lake and the greater Yorktown-Cortlandt area.
St. Mary’s Church, Staten Island: Community Meal and Food Pantry, $1,900
Every first Saturday of the month, the Food Pantry at St. Mary’s on Staten Island provides a hearty community meal, a pre-packed bag of groceries and a space for community members to gather and find fellowship. The program serves over 500 guests.
St. Mary’s Church, Tuxedo Park: Sloatsburg Food Pantry, $6,600
The Sloatsburg Food Pantry is the only pantry serving the rural Sloatsburg area. It is an ecumenical outreach program providing nutritious food to low-income people and food delivery for people without access to transportation. They also provide nutrition workshops, social service referrals and ESL classes.
St. Paul’s Church, Poughkeepsie: Food Pantry, $6,400
St. Paul’s Church, located in a high-poverty area of Poughkeepsie, operates a choice food pantry and thrift shop three times a week. St. Paul’s provided food for 2,500 households last year.
St. Peter’s Church, Chelsea, Manhattan: Food Pantry, $3,000
St. Peter’s Food Pantry bags of non-perishable, nutritionally balanced food supplies to its guests every week. Free immunizations and support with counseling services is also available. Last year they served over 23,000 people.
St. Peter’s Church, Westchester Square, Bronx: Love Kitchen and Pantry, $14,500
The Love Kitchen and Pantry serves a nutritious three course meal every week alongside their once a month choice pantry. St. Peter’s served 15,000 clients last year.
St. Thomas’ Church, Mamaroneck: Brown Bag Lunch and Food Pantry, $1,400
St. Thomas Church serves weekly brown bag lunches, runs a choice pantry and links with community agencies to provide referrals to other social services in the Mamaroneck area.
St. Thomas’ Church, Amenia Union: Comida de Vida/ Food of Life Food Pantry, $14,000
St. Thomas’ “Food of Life” Pantry serves a large rural region where poverty is often invisible. The program supplies nine meals per person each week. In addition the pantry provides assistance with immigration, employment and social services.
Zion Church, Wappingers Falls: Food Pantry, $7,000
The Food Pantry at Zion Church, provides weekly food bags. The program also assists clients with referals to social services, literary programs and employment information. The pantry distributes nearly 3,000 food packages each year.
Health and Wellness
All Angels Church, Manhattan: Pathways Drop In Program, $6,400
The Pathways Center at All Angels Church seeks to offer a radical welcome to homeless adults by providing light meals, showers, clothing, toiletries, haircuts, mail service, as well as medical, psychiatric and social services on a drop in basis. Open two days per week, the program served 250 guests last year.
Christ Church, Bronxville: Fessenden Supportive Housing, $14,800
A ministry of the Episcopal Brothers of St. Gregory, Fessenden House is a long-term supportive residence for men recovering from addiction and mental health struggles. The men who live here attend regular twelve-step meetings and are connected with necessary medical and educational services, and experience a physically and emotionally safe “home base”.
St. Mary’s, Manhattanville: Robert Daniel Jones Memorial Shelter, $12,100
The RDJ Memorial Shelter seeks to build a sopportive community for homless immigrants and refugees in NYC by providing shelter and one-on-one support. Guests can stay up to 12 months and during that time are assisted with language, legal and helath services.
St. Mary’s Church, Tuxedo Park: Helping Hands Interfaith Coalition for the Homeless, $15,900
Helping Hands Interfaith Coalition for the Homeless assists homeless men and women in finding alternatives to life on the streets. The Coalition runs a shelter every night from November through April, as well as a day-time Outreach Center which provides case management, showers, laundry, vocational training, educational workshops and health services. Helping Hands was awarded a multi-year grant of $15,900 / year for three years.
St. Matthew’s Church, Bedford: Emergency Shelter Partnership, $6,900
The Emergency Shelter Partnership is a community-based, interfaith coalition of religious and community organizations in northern Westchester County. November through March, partners rotate to provide meals and nightly emergency shelter for those needing a safe, warm place to sleep.
Christ and St. Stephen’s Church, Manhattan: West Side Campaign Against Hunger – Chef Training Program, $15,000
The Chef Training Program at the West Side Campaign Against Hunger provides pantry customers with basic education in professional kitchen skills. The twelve week program, conducted in English and Spanish, teaches self-sufficiency, work skills, nutrition, healthy eating and basic kitchen procedures. Participants gain hands-on kitchen experience through the daily preparation of lunch for pantry volunteers, and are connected with employment opportunities where they can put their new skills to use. WSCAH is in year two of a multi-year grant ($15,000 / year for 3 years).
Christ Church, Bronxville: Coming Home, $5,100
In collaboration with the Reformed Church of Bronxville, Christ Church will provide support for individuals re-entering society after a period of incarceration. Congregational and community volunteers will receive training as mentors and facilitators of “restorative justice circles,” to help victims and offenders talk with each other about the harm that has been caused and find a way to repair that harm.
Christ’s Church, Rye: Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison – Sing-Sing Program, $20,000
The Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison provides a college education, life skills and re-entry support to incarcerated men and women, helping them change their own lives and make a positive impact on their families and communities, reducing rates of recidivism, incarceration and poverty. Hudson Link is in year two of a multi-year grant ($20,000 / year for 3 years).
Grace Church, Millbrook: Latino Outreach Program, $17,100
The Latino Outreach program helps the Latino community in Northeast Dutchess County overcome fear and isolation by offering classes in English as a Second Language and providing support and assistance to people navigating immigration services. The program operates at five locations in Northeast Dutchess in order to reach as many communities as possible.
Grace Church, Nyack: Family Connections Program at the Nyack Center, $7,500
The Family Connections Program at the Nyack Center provides support, education and resources to parents incarcerated at Rockland County Correctional Facility, and to their children and families. Services include weekly parent education support groups for incarcerated mothers, pregnant women, and fathers. Family Connections also offers pre-release case management services to assist inmates.
St. Mark’s, Mt. Kisco: Construction and Entrepreneurial Skills, $6,500
In partnership with and on location at St. Mark’s, the Community Center of Northern Westchester will offer a construction job skills programs for 120 low-wage, low skill workers, most of whom are recent Hispanic immigrants. Students will learn basic construction, carpentry, and painting skills, become OSHA certified, and gain knowledge to start their own small businesses.
St. Mary’s Ghanaian, Bronx: ESL Program, $2,000
A parish serving members of the Ghanaian community, St. Mary’s began offering weekend English as a Second Language classes to their fellow West African immigrants. The program, which also teaches basic literacy skills to those who may lack them even in their native languages, served 15 students in 2016 and hopes to increase to 20 in 2017.
St. Philip’s Church, Harlem, Manhattan: Thursday Hospitality, $8,500
Thursday Hospitality aims to maintain a “Ministry of Presence” which supports formally incarcerated individuals. Each Thursday, volunteers offer companionship and refreshments to parole clients at the Harlem Community Justice Center. The program is coordinated by eight cross-denominational Harlem churches hosting support groups for formerly incarcerated people.