Neighbors Together Fights Hunger and Poverty in Brooklyn

by Justin Taylor
Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series

Name: Neighbors Together

What they do: Since 1982 Neighbors Together has been fighting hunger and poverty in the neighborhoods of Ocean Hill, Brownsville, and Bedford-Stuyvesant with three integrated programs: the Community Café, the Empowerment Program, and the Community Action Program. Their three programs are designed to meet immediate and basic needs while also creating pathways to actively challenge the underlying conditions that perpetuate poverty. All of their activities are grounded in the needs and hopes of their neighbors, honoring the dignity of each individual and striving for the overall empowerment of the community.

How they do it: 10,000 low-income men, women and children come to Neighbors Together for support each year. Neighbors Together’s three main programs serve their members in the following ways.

  • The Community Café provides 400 people a day with free, nutritious meals to ease the immediate crisis of hunger. At the same time, the Café provides structured volunteer opportunities that help to master skills, increase a sense of belonging, offer social support, and build self-efficacy among their members.
  • The Empowerment Program addresses the entrenched problems that lead to hunger: unemployment, lack of education, homelessness, addiction, and inadequate health care. This program connects members to important resources such as housing, public benefits, job training, health and mental health care, legal services, income tax filing, and other necessary resources. The staff offers personalized support that is focused on long-term planning to those who struggle with persistent barriers to stability.
  • The Community Action Program organizes members through education and action to transform public policies that too often compound rather than relieve poverty. Weekly Membership Meetings take place every Tuesday from 2:30-3:30 pm. The meetings are open to all and provide opportunities for members to discuss issues impacting the work of Neighbors Together and current events that impact the community at large while also developing their leadership skills.

Mission: “Neighbors Together is committed to ending hunger and poverty in Ocean Hill, Brownsville, and Bedford-Stuyvesant, three of the lowest-income areas in New York City.”

Latest project/campaign: On May 17th, 2018, more than 30 restaurants, drink providers, and vendors came together for the 5th Annual Plates for Change Chef Showcase to raise money for the fight against hunger and poverty in Brooklyn.

Major Funding: Robin Hood Foundation, Barker Welfare Foundation, Frank Cross Foundation, Howard E. Stark Charitable Foundation, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation, Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, Inc., Metzger-Price Fund, North Star Fund, Sandra Atlas Bass and Edythe & Sol G. Atlas Fund, Inc., Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP),. Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP), Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP), Capuchin Food Pantries Fund, City Harvest Food Bank for New York City, Fr. Anthony Vivona Bequest, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, Mid Bedford Heights Lions Club, St. Francis Food Pantries & Shelters, WHY Hunger, American Express, Amazon Smile, The Atlantic Philanthropies, Credit Suisse, HSBC Philanthropic, Goldman Sachs Employee Matching Program

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: N/A

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: They provide food and social services five days a week, serving more than 10,000 New Yorkers annually.



2094 Fulton St.

Brooklyn, NY 11233

Core Programs: Community Café, Empowerment Program, Community Action Program

Number of staff: 50

Number of volunteers: N/A

Areas served: Brooklyn

Year Started: 1982

Director: Denny Marsh

Contact Information:

(718) 498-7256

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