Reducing Hunger Volunteer Impact Initiative


The goal of this city-wide service initiative is to reduce food insecurity in NYC by engaging volunteers in activities that connect people with public nutrition benefits – such as SNAP (food stamps), WIC (Women, Infants, Children), and Summer Meals – and build capacity of emergency feeding programs.


Food insecurity in New York City is still at an historically high level since the 2008 recession, with one in six residents and one in five children in the city living in homes that can’t afford enough food, according to federal data analyzed by NYC Coalition Against Hunger (NYCCAH). Federal nutrition programs, such as SNAP, WIC, and the Summer Meals, provide vital supplemental resources that help eligible recipients meet their daily food needs.

Currently in NYC, 1.8 million people receive SNAP benefits; however, an estimated 500,000 people are eligible, but not receiving SNAP. WIC is an effective program to ensure women and young children receive adequate nutrition, but it is also underutilized, as is the Summer Meals program. In addition, the network of 1,100 food pantries and soup kitchens in NYC help fill the gap where these safety net programs fall short. However, many of these organizations are small and have limited capacity to effectively and efficiently meet their clients’ needs year-round. 


  • Increase the number of eligible people receiving SNAP benefits
  • Increase capacity of community-based organizations to provide SNAP screening and application assistance
  • Increase the number of eligible women and children receiving WIC
  • Increase the number of meals served at summer meals sites
  • Increase Average Daily Participation at summer meals sites Increase the capacity of emergency food programs to more effectively meet clients’ needs


Reducing Hunger Through Service

Volunteers can have an impact by increasing access to federal nutrition benefits, and providing skills-based support to build capacity of community-based organizations to more efficiently and effectively meet their clients’ needs.

Volunteer roles include:

  • SNAP, WIC, and Summer Meals Community Outreach
  • Initial SNAP and WIC Pre-Screener
  • Advanced SNAP Pre-Screener
  • Summer Meals Activity Facilitator
  • Skills-based Volunteer


Department for the Aging, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Met Council, New York Cares, and LiveOn offer volunteer opportunities to support the capacity for SNAP and WIC Outreach, SNAP Pre-screening, and Skills Based Volunteer positions as part of the Reducing Hunger Service Initiative.

The Reducing Hunger Initiative is also supported by:

Department of Education

Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Human Resources Administration

Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs

Office of Food Policy

City Harvest

Center for Urban Community Services

Food Bank for New York City


Public Health Solutions

Single Stop USA

United Way of NYC