CDSC’s pantry has evolved, with the support of United Way of New York City and the Food Bank for New York City, from a pre-packaged distribution model to a client choice model. The client choice model allows clients to maintain their dignity while receiving food from the pantry by giving them the opportunity to select their own food items based on their individual preferences, health needs, family size, and circumstances. The client choice model CDSC's is called the Walk-thru. This model does not require a permanent set-up; food is stored on shelves with wheels and wheeled into a space for distribution, and volunteers help clients make their food selections.
The pantry has been a welcomed and much needed resource in the community since 1990. Clients receive a 3-5 day food supply once a month. We serve approximately 10,473 families annually.
In addition to providing emergency food assistance, CDSC also uses the food pantry as a gateway to connect families, adults, and seniors with a variety of critical support services such as:
o New York State health insurance information and free health screenings
o Job preparation and training referrals
o Financial literacy training and information
o Health workshops and screenings
o Clothing drives, including coats for children and adults as they become available
o Referrals for housing assistance
o Free tax preparation services to promote our clients’ overall financial stability
As a host site for the Paperless Office System (POS), a project sponsored by the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and HRA, CDSC makes it easier for clients to access and maintain their Food Stamps. Clients no longer have to wait for hours at a food stamps office to submit their application. They can come to us with individual appointments to process their application online.
Helping clients to make informed food choices is an integral part of CDSC’s emergency food pantry. One of the ways we accomplish this objective is by conducting food demonstrations and promoting fresh vegetables. Our on-site community chef prepares easy to make meals using organic, farm fresh vegetables provided by Local Produce Link, a program sponsored by United Way of New York City and from our very own Indoor Hydroponic Farm.
Our work has been recognized by the Food Bank for New York City. CDSC was awarded the 2010 Most Outstanding Pantry in Brooklyn award by the Food Bank.
Who Can Use the Food Pantry?
Our pantry is open to all families and individuals in need of emergency food assistance throughout New York City. We also accept referrals from the NYC Hunger Hotline, community organizations, churches, treatment centers, and medical offices.