New Direction Services provides resources and services in all 5 New York City boroughs. We are a 501(c)3 non profit organization with tax exempt status granted by the Federal government in April, 2000. We began a cooking class for seniors at a senior housing complex (Bridgeview) in May, 2000. The seniors complained about their food insecurity issues after their monthly social security was used up on rent and medications. As a result, the food pantry for seniors began and later expanded to the disabled, veterans and families with children when the September 11 events occurred.
The state of emergency due to the Coronavirus pandemic has left many elderly in a state of hunger and panic. Seniors and disabled are scared of catching the virus and do not go outside even for food shopping. People are suffering due to the long- term effects experienced during the pandemic: unemployment, food insecurity, business closures, health disparities and economic hardships.
We address the challenges of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and lung disease through culturally competent community forums,
wellness events, working with community partners like Shoprite for donations to our food programs, health and fitness activities, blood and glucose screenings at the pantry, resource development and dissemination of PPE/supplies to families, veterans, elderly,
disabled and homeless. During the pandemic some of the activities are put on pause but our herb program continues, clients are exercising at home and blood pressure screening is on pause.
Our program focuses on weekly food distribution at the food pantry, at community parking lots, church parking lots, housing projects and pop ups in Staten Island. Our Farm to Table Summer program while helping clean up Staten Island community farm continues even during the pandemic. Our Halloween Healthy snacks, summer herbs program and Composting to save the environment was a welcome event last year. Our fresh food comes from local farmers on Staten Island, NYS farmers including Ronnybrook, FingerLake’s farms, Haskells Seafood of Long Island, Skate Farm, Satur Farm and more. We also connect with greenmarkets, vendors and wholesalers. Donations of fresh produce is always appreciated from families with vegetable gardens. Our distribution during the 2020 pandemic months included farm fresh produce as well as meats and fish.
Our clientele includes immigrants, seniors, families, disabled and homeless New Yorkers trying to survive in the
pandemic. We provide food packages taken directly to the homes of the disabled and elderly. We provide food packages
directly to senior housing complexes. We continue to do food pantry pop-ups all over Staten Island in places affected by the virus including low income housing projects, community centers and church parking lots and street corners. We distribute food at the food pantry with lines around the corner. We continue to provide clients coming to the pantry with masks, gloves, sanitizers. Our pantry area is re-set to accommodate and to comply with requirements for social distancing, sanitization and safety. We are providing contactless food packages to households; we temperature all clients
and have volunteers ensuring that social distancing is complied with on the line.
Real Food Progam
Working with Farmers
Our Farm to Table Summer program while helping clean up Staten Island community farm continues even during the pandemic.
Farm Fresh Food
Our fresh food comes from local farmers on Staten Island, NYS farmers including Ronnybrook, FingerLake’s farms, Haskells Seafood of Long Island, Skate Farm, Satur Farm and more. We also connect with greenmarkets, vendors and wholesalers. Donations of fresh produce is always appreciated from families with vegetable gardens.
During the summer months we educate our households on the various types of milk and alternative-drinks available to
them. Our nutritionist (or a community dietician from Shoprite supermarket) distributes samples of almond, oat, soy,
walnut, cashew as well as low fat, fat free and skim milks.