Food Support

The Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP) is uniquely administered to address NYC hunger in a number of ways.

2018 UWNYC Seed Grant Applications Now Open!
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United Way of New York City seeks to improve the health and nutrition status of people in need of food assistance in New York City. In partnership with New York State Department of Health’s Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP), UWNYC:

  • Provides food and operations support funding, training and technical assistance to more than 400 food pantries and soup kitchens.
  • Improves the health status of vulnerable New Yorkers by not just providing meals and groceries, but also improving the nutritional value of the food they eat and providing nutrition education to emergency food operators. 
  • Ensures a minimum of 15% of emergency foods distributed are fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to adhering to rigorous nutrition guidelines promoting nutrient dense foods. 

Food Grants

Each year, HPNAP allocates over $4 million of food to nearly 300 food pantries and soup kitchens across the five boroughs. The HPNAP food grant stands by the commitment to provide high-quality, nutritious food. In doing so, each grantee is required to spend at least 15% of its funds on fresh fruits and vegetables to be distributed in its emergency food program. Because our nutrition guidelines align with the USDA’s MyPlate, we have carefully curated a directory of nutritious foods at affordable prices. With programs like Produce of the Month and Whole Grain of the Month, our emergency food partners are able to offer healthy and wholesome meals at each service.


  • Supports over 300 food pantries and soup kitchens each year
  • Provided nearly 2 million meals last year

To apply for HPNAP funding, please visit for information.


UWNYC Seed Grants

Since 2000, UWNYC has provided Seed Grants to community-based organizations (CBOs) and emergency food programs (EFPs) serving low-income, food insecure New Yorkers. Seed Grants are start-up grants intended to be used as a “seed” to begin a new or enhanced service. Seed Grants encourage the development of projects that support innovative ways of meeting emergency food, healthy food access, and nutrition education needs of low-income people. In doing so, Seed Grants target projects with existing staff dedicated to the project and long-term plans for sustainability after the grant year.

This funding has enabled organizations to provide innovative and self-sustaining ways of confronting community needs, help individuals decrease their reliance on emergency food, and increase promotion of nutrition and physical activity among various age groups. Ongoing support to sustain seed grant projects are offered through networking and learning opportunities hosted by UWNYC.

Since 2001, UWNYC has funded more than 90 seed grants, including twenty-nine urban farming projects that have transformed unused land or rooftops into food-producing urban farms.

Seed Grants for 2018

For the 2018 Seed Grant program year, UWNYC is continuing to accept applications related to urban farming projects as well as additional projects that provide organizations with the ability to develop or improve upon current nutrition education, wellness programs, make organizational enhancements and outreach and benefits access related services in three categories:

  1. Resource Enhancement and Community Partnerships: Projects that increase or enhance healthy food access and emergency food resources or create a diversified resource base through community partnerships.
  2. Organizational Capacity and Effectiveness: Projects that increase organizational capacity and effectiveness to provide emergency food services and access to healthy foods.
  3. Linkage to Services: Projects that can link emergency food providers and their guests to services that could reduce dependence on emergency food.

Note:  Projects that address a persistent need within the emergency food network and can be replicated for broader use are of particular interest. 

Application Due Date and Notification Date

Seed Grant applications and required documents must be submitted and uploaded to the UWNYC website by 5:00 p.m. on February 7, 2018. Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation email indicating that your application has been received. Grant decisions will be made by March 15, 2018; notifications will be sent to the contact person and the Executive Director via email.

Application Procedures

Step One: Download each file (right click the link and select "Download linked file." The files will save in your computers download folder)

Step Two: Complete online form and upload required documents.  

Seed Grant Application Workshop (optional)

UWNYC will offer two training sessions ; attendance is not required but is highly encouraged.
*Registration by 2pm on January 8, 2018 is required to attend – Click HERE to register*

  • January 9, 2018; 3 pm – 4:30 pm In person meeting at UWNYC, 205 East 42nd Street, 13th fl., New York, NY 10017
  • January 10, 2018; 10 am – 11:30 am Webinar – Instructions to be provided after registration

Please contact us at or 212-251-4117 if you have any questions about this grant. 

APPLY NOW: 2018 UWNYC Seed Grants


Local Produce Link

Launched in 2001 as a joint program of United Way of New York City and Just Food, Local Produce Link connects food pantries in low-income communities with area farmers to purchase fresh local produce throughout the growing season. Since the program’s inception, close to 2 million pounds of the highest-quality fruits and vegetables have been delivered throughout the emergency feeding network in the five boroughs of New York City. This initiative also offers cooking demonstrations that ensure pantry staff and clients develop skills and confidence to create nutritious and delicious meals using these farm-fresh items.

In 2014-2015:

  • Local Produce Link connected 48 food pantries to 8 local farms
  • 283,068 pounds of locally grown, fresh produce were distributed to emergency food participants