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Mission:  Under the brand Meals on Main Street, Caritas of Port Chester supports local and hyper-local community groups and individuals seeking to provide food to disadvantaged and underserved members of their community.  Working closely with food banks, major suppliers, small pantries, kitchens and community centers that provide support to families in need within the community, Meals on Main increases and sustains access to food, both purchased and donated, by creating a growing network of food hubs (refrigerated drop off sites) and food depots and thereby shows respect for the dignity of each individual who seeks its assistance and furthers personal, economic, and social opportunity for all.

Major Programs:

  • each mobile pantry trucks delivers fresh produce, meat, and dairy up to 10 locations each week
  • distribute perishable and non-perishable groceries through a growing network of food pantries, including its own
  • create and serve meals in local community dining venues
  • distribute and deliver meals to families in need
  • collect and recover food that would otherwise spoil or be thrown out
  • partner with local kitchens (restaurants, caterers, and culinary schools) to convert recovered food into meals
  • work with BIPOC and disadvantaged farmers to provide fresh produce, meats, and dairy to families in need via mobile pantry trucks

Project: Port Chester Food Depot (Expansion of an existing program):

The Food Depot is a continuous food flow facility where vans and truck arrive daily to deliver fresh and recovered food.  Mobile pantry trucks, SUVs and vans cart food out for delivery within hours instead of days

In late 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Meals on Main installed two portable refrigerated containers in the parking lot of the construction site where its new Port Chester headquarters were being readied for a commercial kitchen and pantry. The goal was to test the concept of a community-based food depot, a site dedicated to collecting, sorting, holding, and redeploying perishable food. The initial intention was to double the amount of perishable food distributed to the community. Ultimately, this food hub allowed for food recovered from supermarkets and purchased from farms to increase from 109,000 pounds in 2020 to 241,000 pounds in 2021. The plan to test the concept of a community-based food hub serving all the pantries and distribution outlets in the area worked. In 2022, Meals on Main successfully repeated this exercise in Ossining with funding from three grants. Now, as the construction project draws to a close and the new headquarters is ready to open for its original function, the Port Chester hub of Meals on Main needs to find a more suitable location.

If awarded the Transformational Project Grant, Meals on Main will be able to cover one year of lease and related expenses on a 2,500 square foot warehouse space which will allow for increased distribution in food insecure neighborhoods throughout Westchester. 

The warehouse space will accommodate:

  • refrigerated storage
  • walk-in freezer
  • receiving area with storage space for staff and volunteers to accept deliveries, weigh, sort, repack and store food on a temporary basis, and then load it onto Meals on Main’s custom-built mobile pantry trucks

The new warehouse space will be the command center for the Port Chester and Ossining food hubs and for any new hubs added in the future.

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