The New York Common Pantry in Manhattan.
This November, the class of 5e2, under the guidance of advisors Ms. Jan and Mrs. Kurzweil, did a service learning project around the school’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. We did everything from sorting the food, to using a formula to calculate how much (dollarwise) our donations were worth, to learning who benefits from our donations, to visiting the New York Common Pantry and discovering all the services it offers the community.
Our first step in the process was to sort the different foods once the drive ended. An Excel document created by Ms. Lavalle, our computer science teacher, helped us categorize the different items then figure out many pounds (and ounces and grams!) we actually collected. Though we did not collect quite as much as in previous years, we still managed to collect 160 pounds of food!
The next step occurred in history class with Ms. Friedman and Mrs. Lauzy. Basing ourselves on documents the NYCP had sent us, we learned about New York City ZIP codes, our five boroughs and where most of the adults who use the pantry live. We concluded that 77% of people using the NYCP were from Manhattan and the Bronx.
A real case study
Then in math class with Mr. Bourdon, we studied diagrams showing the evolution of the number of donations to the NYCP from 2008 through 2013. The value of food donations was over one million dollars every year with the exception of last year when, because of Hurricane Sandy, the NYCP had to supplement lower food donations with purchased food to help feed all the victims. In a related note, we figured out how much our donations were worth money-wise: $2,070.00!
Finally, on December 16th, we took a trip to the New York Common Pantry, located on East 109th Street. We learned that the pantry’s hot meal program feeds up to 400 people (referred to as “guests”) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and serves breakfast to over 100 people every day of the week.
A lesson about selflessness
The NYCP also provides a hygiene center with showers for people to that don’t have a home or a bathroom. Free haircuts and nutrition classes are also available. For those who have a home with a kitchen but can’t afford food, the NYCP offers a food pantry, a mini grocery store, where people can come in every two weeks and take enough food to last four days. The amount of food they get varies upon the size of the family. What we remember the most about the New York Common Pantry is:
– All food, meals and services offered by the pantry are free!
– They feed humans and animals too!
– The people that work there are very selfless and kind.
– It’s amazing the number of people that use this pantry.
– It’s nice to see that people still care for others and donate to the pantry.
by Beatrice B. and Margherita H. in 7th Grade