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Food Insecurity

Food Insecurity

Visits to New York City food pantries and soup kitchens are up 69% in 2022 compared to 2019. Currently, 1.5 million New Yorkers are struggling to feed themselves and their families. Even before the pandemic, New York City was facing a profound hunger crisis, particularly within marginalized and under-resourced communities. There are many ways to work with the Central community to increase dignified access to healthy food across the city.

Upper East Side Community Fridge

Central Synagogue is proud to partner with Grassroots Grocery and the NYCHA Holmes Towers Resident Association to bring the first community fridge to the Upper East Side! The fridge, which is located on 92nd St. between 1st Ave. and York Ave., is open 24/7 and provides dignified food access to our neighbors. Learn more and register for ongoing community fridge volunteer opportunities below.

  • How to Donate
  • UES Community Fridge Mailing List
  • Make Sandwiches for the UES Community Fridge!
    • Central members are invited to make sandwiches for the Community Fridge together before Shabbat services on the second and fourth Friday of every month. Members, please check your email to register.

Central Synagogue Breakfast Program
Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Fridays, 6:00–7:30 am | Pavilion

The Breakfast Program is among Central Synagogue’s longest ongoing social justice projects. Originally conceived and implemented by longtime congregant Nat Shapiro in 1983, the Breakfast Program was started in response to Mayor Koch’s outcry for New York City’s religious institutions to respond to increasing homelessness and hunger throughout the city. 

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday morning, from 6:00-7:30 AM, Central members package and serve hot meals and to-go sandwiches to guests outside of the sanctuary. For more information and to sign up to volunteer, please send an email to

NYC Food Justice Partners