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Best Places to Volunteer for Feeding the Homeless in NYC

Best Places to Volunteer for Feeding the Homeless in NYC

If you live in New York City, you’re coming face to face with poverty on a daily basis. 

Living in a big city means constant exposure to people who are less fortunate than you. It’s impossible to ignore the painful reality that millions of Americans struggle with hunger every day, and if you live in Manhattan, you are in a place with an especially high concentration of people who are wondering where their next meal will come from.

Poverty and hunger are painful struggles that can befall anyone, given enough unfortunate circumstances. It can be easy to see yourself as “above” those who are struggling to meet their own needs. You might even be tempted to think that you are where you are simply because you worked harder than those who are struggling. 

This is simply not the case. 

There are many factors that can leave someone going hungry day after day, and claiming that those in poverty are there due to their own faults is arrogant and cruel. 

Instead of living in a bubble, open up your heart to the needs of others and live with a willingness to love and serve those who need help. 

Every good thing in life is a gift, and when you are in an advantaged position, it is especially important to give to those who are less fortunate. 

One of the best ways to actively fight against hunger and poverty is to volunteer at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Any organization that works to feed the hungry in your city is worth getting plugged in with.

The Stats on Hunger in NYC

If you live in New York City, you have numerous options for places to volunteer to feed the homeless, and the need where you are is especially great. 

As of August 2020, according to theCoalition for The Homeless, there were nearly 60,000 homeless people living in New York City. That number includes almost 20,000 children. These heartbreaking statistics are enough to prompt anyone to give freely their time and resources to help end the epidemic of poverty in Manhattan.

Homelessness in New York City has increased by over 50 percent since a decade ago. 

This is truly a tragedy, one that is best explained by a number of trying circumstances that have dramatically affected many New Yorkers. Economic fallout, lack of affordable housing, disease and mental illness, and the impact of the recent pandemic have all put many people and families on the streets in Manhattan. 

Based on these few factors aone, it is easy to see why it is so important to be gracious when addressing the subject of homelessness. It is never fair to blame a person in poverty for their circumstances, nor is it kind.

New York City Relief

New York City Relief just celebrated their 30-year anniversary last year, having been founded in 1989.


Through their Relief Buses, NYC Relief serves homemade soup and bread, distributes hygiene kits, holds prayers, and provides resources to help homeless individuals find the exact help they need from housing to healthcare. You canclick here to get info about volunteering for their Relief Buses or Relief Co-Op where you will directly help serve aid. 

Taking a holistic approach toward helping homelessness, NYC Relief has specially trained counselors who work one on one with homeless individuals to help them figure out exactly what kind of help they need, providing the resources needed to be able to find housing, work, healthcare, and more. 

These Life Care visits provide access to the exact kind of help an individual needs, and NYC Relief’s new Relief Co-Op makes it easier than ever to really reach the people who need these life care visits the most. 

The Bowery Mission

Founded in the 1800s, the Bowery Mission is one of the oldest safe havens for the homeless in the city of New York. In addition to providing food and shelter for the homeless, The Bowery Mission also provides medical care. 

You canvolunteer at the Bowery Mission to help feed the homeless, even if you are not living in New York City. 

The Bowery Mission, according to its website, has welcomed volunteers from every state in the U.S., helping to strengthen its reputation as one of the most active homeless shelters in Manhattan. 

Some of the other characteristics of the Bowery Mission that make it special are its commitment to helping with addiction recovery and its focus on providing comprehensive care to homeless individuals and their families. 

Many people end up homeless because of the crippling weight of addiction. In these circumstances, the burden of a chemical need for a substance is too great for anyone to bear. Succumbing to addiction is tragic, but it does not indicate that a person is weak. 

The Bowery Mission recognizes this reality and makes an effort to provide recovery resources to those who pass through its doors.

Coalition for the Homeless

Founded in the 1980s, Coalition for the Homeless provides food, shelter and advocacy for homeless men, women and children in New York City. 

One of the things that makes Coalition for the Homeless unique is its consistent effort to provide homeless New Yorkers with affordable housing. 

In addition, the Coalition works hard to accommodate homeless individuals who are living with HIV/AIDS and need special care. AIDS affects many New Yorkers and causes many to continually live in poverty without the medical care and support that they need. 

As an advocacy organization, Coalition for the Homeless has worked to help homeless individuals gain important rights and access to the resources they need.

You can volunteer to feed the hungry at Coalition for the Homeless by participating in their Grand Central Food Program. 

This effort to feed the homeless operates at 25 different stops throughout Manhattan, where homeless individuals can stop and receive a hot meal. The Grand Central Food Program also distributes clothing and blankets to the homeless in addition to feeding them.

Citymeals on Wheels

Citymeals on Wheels is an organization that works hard to make sure that those without access to food due to being elderly or homebound get a meal and friendly, personable attention. By delivering meals on weekends and holidays, Citymeals on Wheels makes sure that no one gets left behind because they cannot access food on their own. 

Citymeals on Wheels needs volunteers who can deliver meals to elderly and homebound individuals in New York City. 

In addition, the organization calls for volunteers who will engage in a weekly call with an elderly person who needs companionship and company. In the loneliness caused by the pandemic and the isolation that being homebound can bring, this can make a huge impact on an elderly individual. 

Citymeals on Wheels also delivers handwritten cards made by volunteers to elderly and homebound individuals alongside a hot meal.

If you have younger kids who might not be able to actively volunteer at a homeless shelter, they can still partner with Citymeals on Wheels by writing cards. A heartfelt note from your kids can make someone’s day when they are struggling to make ends meet and may not be getting visits or attention from anyone. Through writing a card, your kids can learn the value of spreading joy, love and kindness to those in need.

How Nunbelievable is Fighting to End Hunger in NYC and Beyond 

If you are looking for a simple way to participate in the find to end hunger in the U.S., it's as simple as eatingNunbelievable cookies for dessert! 

Nunbelievable is on a mission like nun other, aiming to end hunger one cookie at a time. By having Nunbelievable cookie for dessert, you are giving a meal to a hungry person who needs it.

Every cookie sold by Nunbelievable translates to one meal contributed to the fight to end hunger. That’s a cause anyone can get behind!

You can combine your efforts in fighting hunger by volunteering at a homeless shelter with enjoying Nunbelievable cookies to make a major impact in your community and in the country at large. 

Withover 40 million Americans struggling with hunger, the time to act is now. Besides, you know you were going to have dessert tonight anyway. Why not make it a delicious cookie from Nunbelievable? 

Nunbelievable offers four incredibly delicious types ofcookies: chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, peanut butter and gluten free double chocolate. 

Each cookie is non-GMO, preservative-free, and made without any artificial ingredients. Plus, the cookies are three ounces apiece, meaning they’re big enough to share with friends and family. And that’s all on top of directly impacting the fight to end hunger in America. 

If that’s not enough to convince you to make Nunbelievable cookies your treat of choice, hear this word of truth: they’re low in added sugar. A serving of a Nunbelievable cookie has less than ten grams of added sugar in it, letting you enjoy it without guilt or shame.

At Nunbelievable, we believe dessert should be good for your soul, and that it should provide an opportunity to do good to others. After all, something as sweet as a delicious cookie should add some extra sweetness to the whole world. These cookies are more than just tasty treats – they have heart. 

We may be all about nun puns and tasty treats, but at our core, what we believe in most deeply is that everyone should be loved, cared for and given what they need to survive and thrive. That’s why we bake our cookies, and why we believe in their power to do good. 

If you want to learn more about our mission, check it out here. 

If you’re ready to get some cookies of your own, we can help with that, too. 


Nunbelievable Inc.

Nunbelievable Inc.