The Yorkville Common Pantry (YCP) is launching a new online program with leading online grocer FreshDirect that will allow people to donate gift cards for the online grocer directly to the food bank. The program marks the first time FreshDirect has offered a gift card on its website for direct donations to a local charitable organization. It also provides YCP with an opportunity to reach a new segment of donors at a time when the demand for food assistance is on the rise; donors who may be interested in giving but whose active lifestyles may prevent them from giving in-person.
In fiscal year 2012 (July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012), YCP served nearly 2 million meals, and saw a 15% increase in clients served. YCP’s Pantry Program is New York City’s largest community-based food pantry and is designed to meet the needs of families by providing culturally appropriate and nutritiously balanced food.
“We know that members of our community, our neighbors, continue a desperate struggle to put food on their tables but we also know there is a deep desire among others to help,” said Stephen Grimaldi, executive director of YCP. “This program will give many more people the opportunity and the flexibility to make a donation without having to worry about picking up items at the store and scheduling a delivery to our doors.”
U.S. Department of Agriculture data released just this month showed the percentage of food insecure households in New York State increased from 12.9% in 2008-2010 to 13.3% in 2009-2012. Food insecure households are those that are not able to afford an adequate diet at all times in the past 12 months, and in the most dire cases families may regularly skip meals, or cut the amounts eaten to below what is considered healthy.
The YCP-FreshDirect gift card is available to users both in and out of the FreshDirect service delivery areas. In addition to providing donors with flexibility, it gives YCP the ability to purchase food items and schedule deliveries based on their current pantry members’ needs. This program will reach a new segment of potential donors who seek out nutritious options for their own families and a delivery system that fits their busy lifestyles; but who may not otherwise have time to donate to YCP through conventional channels.
The gift card is available by entering in your zip code on the FreshDirect website at http://www.freshdirect.com/ycp