Hunger Prevention & Nutrition Assistance Program

Each year, 400,000 people in New York City suffer from moderate or severe hunger; 118,000 are children.  

Thousands of low-income New Yorkers turn to emergency food providers such as pantries and soup kitchens to feed themselves and their families.  In the wake of the recession, hunger is significantly on the rise, and emergency food programs need a steady supply of wholesome, nutritious food to meet this demand.  Since 1984 United Way of New York City has served as a local administrator for the New York State Department of Health’s Hunger Prevention & Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP). HPNAP is dedicated to improving 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. 

Through HPNAP, United Way provides funding, training and technical assistance to 400+ pantries and soup kitchens. Over the years, United Way has developed exceptionally high nutrition standards in order to ensure that soup kitchens and food pantries order foods that are heart-healthy and rich in vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and fiber.  We have also introduced innovative strategies including: