How Food Pantries Are Helping The Hunger Problem In NYC

How Food Pantries Are Helping The Hunger Problem In NYC

Did you know that 1 in 5 New Yorkers suffer from hunger?

As a volunteer at Our Lady of Good Counsel’s Food Pantry on Staten Island, I have been blessed to collaborate with some truly incredible individuals, and these relationships have molded me into the empowered woman I am today.

Every moment at the food pantry has been an eye-opening experience, and I am grateful to be a part of such a compassionate community of volunteers. I have been a volunteer since the age of eleven, and it is heartwarming to recognize how my weekly service hours have contributed to the health and happiness of countless individuals on Staten Island.

Since 1993, the mission of our food pantry has been simple: love our neighbors. Under the leadership of Maryann Bollinger and Dolores Connelly, our mission comes to fruition every single week. These women are passionate. Their concern for others is genuine, and they pour their hearts into every single task that comes their way.

In addition to managing our weekly operations, they apply for food grants, coordinate countless donations, organize holiday food drives, pick up food from various locations around the island, accept deliveries during the week, and supervise volunteers like me.

They handle such demanding positions with poise, and I will eternally admire their commitment to such an amazing organization.

With their guidance, our pantry furnishes food to approximately 240 families per month, providing bags of groceries to nearly 80 families each week. Each customer receives a bag with staple food items, such as canned soups, pasta, peanut butter, vegetables, and cereal. In an additional bag, our customers are provided with fresh produce, meat, beans, bread, cake, juice, and other nonperishable items. If there is money to spare, our pantry is also able to provide eggs, milk, and butter for the long line of people outside.

Volunteering for Our Lady of Good Counsel Food Pantry has not only been an incredible opportunity for me to discover the importance of community service, but it has enabled me to develop a deeper layer of gratitude for things I had previously taken for granted.

By helping people who live in a state of such desperation, I have come to learn that happiness cannot be derived from material items. Rather, my greatest joys have been attained through a sincere willingness to help others.

By volunteering at this food pantry, I have learned that there is a larger hunger problem in Staten Island than I could have ever imagined. Hunger exists in front of our eyes, and it affects every single neighborhood in our region. It impacts people of every age, race, gender, religion, and ethnicity. Over 1.4 million people in New York City depend on food pantries for survival. In other terms, one out of every five New Yorkers suffers from the pangs of hunger each day.

The most difficult aspect of volunteering is seeing young children step through the door; it is evident that they are hurting, and I can see desperation in the eyes of some parents. Hunger is a pressing issue here on Staten Island, and I am committed to ending such a horrific problem.

In the future, I hope to advocate the life-giving power of proper nutrition. I plan on promoting the blatant atrocities of hunger, and I seek to expose others to the critical significance of food. Essentially, I desire to pursue my passion for nutrition and combine it with purpose. Malnutrition affects every stage of life and has severe consequences that can impact countless generations. I hope to have a voice in this fight against global hunger.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

Popular Right Now

14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!


What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49 (one pack), $14.99 (two pack)

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Cold, Refreshing, Stimulating Truth About Energy Drinks

Am I ruining my body with these? Am I going to DIE???


The thing about energy drinks... they have a bad rap.

I often bring one to work and then my coworkers will begin to tell me how bad they are for my health. And then I usually reply with how delicious they are or something. Because quite frankly, I absolutely love energy drinks.

I never have more than one on the same day, and I don't drink 5-Hour Energy or any of those energy shots. THOSE can't be safe. I also don't drink Redbull for some reason. I have always thought that they weren't good for you and so I guess I just stand by that. But I drink every flavor of Monster and Rockstar and have now expanded my horizons to Nos, Bang, etc. I sip them like a drink, I don't chug them or start my day with them. Usually. And I like to get the sugar-free or low-calorie ones, although that's a whole other debate on whether or not it's healthier to digest real sugar or fake sweetener.

But my habits are not the focus of this article. Instead, I want to summarize some of the factual information about energy drinks and why you shouldn't assume I'm going to have a heart attack after I finish my delicious beverage. Now, I admit right off the bat that I didn't do any extensive research about this, I didn't look into cases of specific people's injuries or experiences, I just want to state a few facts to put this entire debate into perspective:

The average Monster has anywhere from 140-160 mg of caffeine in a 16oz can. This is the equivalent of a tall Starbucks cafe Americano. And ordering an Americano every morning is perfectly fine to most people.

My absolute favorite flavor of Monster is the Pipeline Punch from the Monster Juice series. This one is not low-calorie or low-sugar, it's just a normal Monster drink. It has 23g of sugar in it. Arguably one of the most popular sugary Starbucks drinks is the caramel macchiato. The grande size has 33g of sugar in it. Not to mention, it's also the exact same caffeine count as an energy drink.

Anytime you order your Starbucks drink with an extra shot, that's an added 75mg of caffeine. So with every double shot or even triple shot, if you dare, you are well over the caffeine amount of 99% of energy drinks.

In light of these facts, it's still fair to criticize energy drinks because of their artificial, sugary nature. Sure, carbonated sugary drinks lead to teeth erosion and dental issues. But then how come people don't freak out every time the waiter asks if you would like a Coke with that?

The Bang drinks actually require you be over eighteen to purchase them. Grocery stores treat it like alcohol and ask for your ID before buying. And maybe this is how it should be for every energy drink brand. It would surely help prevent young children and teens from over-consuming something that they probably don't need in their systems at a young age.

As for bodily defects as a result of drinking energy drinks—do everything in moderation! Stories are released of people drinking energy drinks and then dying from heart attacks or what have you. But 99% of the time it's because they drank three in a row or mixed them with substances you shouldn't be mixing them with. These aren't just drinks. People should be taking them seriously. You wouldn't throw back five shots of tequila and then not expect to suffer the consequences or order three triple shot lattes and not expect to feel a little heartburn afterward.

So, I urge you to take this with a grain of salt. 99% of the time I drink an energy drink, it just keeps me from falling asleep. It doesn't really give me energy or make me stay awake. So maybe I have an extremely high tolerance to caffeine, but I see it as evidence that energy drinks can't be that bad for you or else the supposed "high" levels of chemicals and caffeine would have you bouncing off the walls every single time.

Related Content

Facebook Comments