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Coalition for the Homeless: Grand Central Food Program

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Since individuals without homes who reside on the streets of the city are the most disconnected and difficult to reach, they face a significant risk of malnourishment. The Grand Central Food Program, operated by the Coalition, tackles this issue head-on. Unlike a conventional soup kitchen, our dedicated team of staff and volunteers goes directly to where street homeless individuals live, even in the most harsh weather conditions, power outages, and other challenges. For many homeless New Yorkers, this nightly meal is their sole source of sustenance.

Providing Nutritious Meals and More

Every night, a fleet of vans brings life-saving meals to approximately 1,000 people. These meals consist of hearty stew, bread, fresh fruit, and either juice or milk. Over the past year, the Grand Central Food Program has served more than 365,000 meals to homeless and hungry individuals in New York. To enhance the nutritional value of our food, we have incorporated low-sodium meats and whole grain bread into our menu. In addition to providing meals, we also distribute clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, and essential personal hygiene items like toiletries and underwear.

The Grand Central Food Program not only offers sustenance but also fosters a sense of community and emotional support for street homeless individuals, empowering them to move “beyond the soup kitchen” towards greater self-sufficiency. Each night, our staff, including a Mobile Outreach Worker, builds trust and assists them in accessing crucial life-changing services such as psychiatric treatment, medical care, substance abuse treatment, shelter, and vital benefits provided by the Coalition and our partner organizations.

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Volunteers are the backbone of the Grand Central Food Program. Many dedicate one night per week to join us. They play a crucial role in distributing food, clothing, and blankets, while treating those we serve with dignity and respect. Through their efforts, they also raise awareness about homelessness and poverty in our city. If you’re interested in volunteering, please email volunteer@cfthomeless.org.

Locations and Schedule

The program’s three vans operate every night of the year from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Below are the locations and approximate times for the Coalition’s Grand Central Food Program van feeding stops:

Downtown Route:

  • 7:15 PM: 35th St. under FDR Drive
  • 7:30 PM: Housing Court/Chinatown, Lafayette & Leonard St.
  • 8:00 PM: Staten Island Ferry
  • 8:15 PM: Sunshine Hotel/Bowery Mission-Bowery between Stanton & Rivington
  • 8:45 PM: Madison Square Park-5th Ave. & 27th St.
  • 9:00 PM: Penn Station-33rd St. & 8th Ave.

Uptown Route:

  • 6:00 PM: St. Bartholomew’s, 51st Street between Park and Lexington
  • 7:15 PM: SW corner 51st & Broadway
  • 7:30 PM: Port Authority, 40th St. between Dyer and 10th Ave.
  • 8:00 PM: 79th St. Boat Basin – 79st St. at West Side Highway
  • 8:15 PM: 86th St. & West End Ave.
  • 8:30 PM: Cathedral of St. John the Divine – 112th St. & Amsterdam
  • 9:00 PM: Harlem Hospital – 137th & Lenox Ave.
  • 9:15 PM: Central Park – 5th Ave.
  • 9:30 PM: NW corner 60th & Park
  • 9:45 PM: SONY building – 55th St. bet. Madison & 5th

Bronx Route:

  • 7:30 PM: SW corner Randall Ave. & Bryant Ave.
  • 7:45 PM: NW corner Lafayette Ave. & Manida St.
  • 8:00 PM: Lincoln Hospital – Morris Ave. & 148th St.
  • 8:15 PM: Bronx Terminal Market – 15th St. & River Ave.
  • 8:30 PM: NE corner of 164th St. & Ogden Ave.
  • 9:00 PM: Fordham Rd. & University Ave.
  • 9:15 PM: Fordham Rd. & Webster Ave.
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For the downloadable list of the Coalition’s Grand Central Food Program van feeding stops, click here.

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