Fresh Food Project

Many of our guests use food pantries as their primary source of food.  These programs often have very limited selections of fresh, healthy foods.  This lack of access to affordable, nutritious food makes our guests vulnerable to the negative health effects of poor nutrition, including diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Xavier Mission has secured the support of community partners to develop a comprehensive Fresh Food Project to empower food pantry guests to improve the quality of their nutrition.  We aim to introduce guests to fresh, healthy foods that they can incorporate into their daily lives in a culturally sensitive, budget-friendly way.



Community Garden - PS 41

PS41, our neighbor on 11th St. off of 6th Ave., recently completed a $2 million project to turn their rooftop into a garden featuring an abundance of herbs and local greens. The garden includes solar panels and rain collection devices to harness the power of the elements for sustainability. PS 41 also has a street level container garden, which allows for the cultivation of vegetables and other heavier plants.

Through our partnership with PS 41, the staff, volunteers, and families of the Xavier Mission Customer-Choice Food Pantry will be given specific containers and herb space to cultivate.  We will visit the garden regularly during the planting, cultivating, and harvesting season.  Visits will include not only hands-on work in the garden, but an educational component to learn about the different foods we will be growing, their nutritional value, and easy ways to incorporate the foods into daily meals.  We will also discuss the entire food system, from farm to table, and the benefits of local, freshly grown produce.  At the end of the season, the families of the Food Pantry will harvest the herbs and vegetables for use in their own homes.

Community Supported Agriculture - West Village CSA

A partnership with the West Village CSA to be a distribution site and provide fresh, seasonal, local produce to pantry guests.

Healthy Cooking Classes - New York Cares

A collaboration with New York Cares to offer a minimum of one 10-week nutrition education course that will provide nutrition information, teach guests how to use the food received in the pantry in the healthiest way possible, and offer healthy cooking classes.



Increase Access to Fresh Foods

Expose community members with limited means to new foods that they can learn to prepare and incorporate into their diets on a budget.

Increase Awareness of Food System

Increase awareness of our guests about the food cycle and the importance of nutrition.

Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Numerous studies have shown the importance of educating children about nutrition and food early in life, to develop healthy habits that will last into adulthood.  Studies have also shown that children who are engaged in the process of growing and preparing their own food are more likely to want to eat those foods.  With activities that actively involve children and their families in the process of growing food, we hope to introduce and/or strengthen a positive, healthy relationship with nutritious, locally-grown foods.  

Empower Guests for Civic Participation

Empower our guests to become active in their community and engage in civic participation.