Food Support

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

2019 Seed Grant applications are 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.


Seed Grants

UWNYC provides 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 that UWNYC intends for CBOs and EFPs  to use 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 enables organizations to provide innovative and self-sustaining ways of confronting community needs, helping individuals decrease their reliance on emergency food, and increasing promotion of nutrition and physical activity among various age groups. UWNYC offers ongoing support to sustain Seed Grant projects through networking and learning opportunities.

Since 2001, UWNYC has funded more than 90 seed grants, including 29 projects that have transformed unused land or rooftops into food-producing urban farms.

2019 Seed Grant Program

Seed Grant Image

We are now accepting 2019 Seed Grant applications! This year, we are coordinating this funding opportunity in collaboration with Food Bank For New York City and support from the New York State Department of Health. If your organization (or an organization you support), has a terrific idea that would benefit from start-up funding, check out this Seed Grant Important Info and the Application Guidelines.  

Ready to apply? APPLY HERE.  

Applications are due by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, February 6, 2019

If you need help with your application, there is an in-person workshop January 31 (1:30 PM–3:00 PM) at Food Bank For New York City (39 Broadway, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10006). 

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


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