“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
These words have long been a part of New York City through their inscription on the Statue of Liberty. Feeding ministries uphold these values at their very core. This past week as part of our Sustainability Workshops, Episcopal Charities brought together many of our grantee feeding programs in a workshop designed to build capacity and help them take their programs to the next level.
Staff from the West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH) created and led the workshop, attended by nearly forty people representing food pantries, community kitchens, and brown bag programs around the Diocese. WSCAH was the first supermarket style “choice” pantry in the nation and serves 11,000 households a year and about 4,000 customers a month through their food pantry on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and a mobile pantry in Harlem and the Bronx. They, like many pantries and food ministries supported by Episcopal Charities, started small, in a closet in a church basement, handing out bags of food to people who were in need.
Having evolved into a larger organization, WSCAH makes it a point to assist smaller pantries to increase their capacity and adopt best practices. September’s Sustainability Workshop highlighted these efforts. Outreach staff and volunteers from Poughkeepsie to Staten Island attended the workshop and were able to bring back new ideas to their community on topics like fundraising, using space more efficiently, and creating a culture of dignity and respect for all who walk through the doors of their program.
We’re grateful for WSCAH’s generosity in sharing their expertise! For more information on WSCAH, check out their website here.
To see the presentation that WSCAH gave, and to see a sample resource sheet that WSCAH has made, click here