Food Support

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

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.


Seed Grants for Urban Farming

Many low-income New Yorkers live in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods.  Community members in these neighborhoods typically have much higher incidences of obesity, heart disease, and other diet-related disorders.  In 2001, United Way of New York City launched Seed Grants for Urban Farming to provide fresh produce where it is desperately needed, educate people on the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, and unite neighbors around an initiative that benefits the whole community.  A typical urban farm provides approximately 1,200 pounds of fresh produce, and, to date, 28 urban farms have been established through Seed Grants.

Seed Grants:

  • Provide access to basic living needs: Urban farms serve as a growing space for a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits in high-need areas where the availability of fresh produce is limited or absent. By converting underutilized land into productive areas where fresh produce can be harvested and distributed to the community, urban farms improve access to healthful food
  • Promote health literacy: An urban farm provides a hands-on forum for educational programming related to food from seed to stomach. Community members engage in agriculture, culinary, and nutrition workshops. This programming facilitates changes related to knowledge of and attitudes towards the benefits of fruits and vegetables and promotes healthy lifestyles
  • Facilitate engagement in preventive health behaviors: Increasing access to vegetables and fruits has proven to be an effective method toward improving intake. Those that are exposed to urban farming and involved in growing their own food have increased vegetables and fruits in their diet and are more willing to consume nutritious foods. Additionally, urban farms create opportunities and safe havens for outside activities and promote physical movement

To apply for Seed Grants for Urban Farming, please click here.


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