The Roundtable: Allies for Food Access Leverages Resources to Address Food Insecurity

by Sycamore May

Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series

Name: The Roundtable: Allies for Food Access

What They Do: The Roundtable: Allies for Food Access was founded in 2018 with the mission to research and pursue opportunities for bulk and collective purchasing. Initially led by four of NYC’s largest emergency food providers: the New York Common Pantry (NYCP), Project Hospitality (PH), St. John’s Bread & Life (SJBL), and the West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH), the coalition partners with food systems consultanta Karen Karp & Partners to coordinate activities. They focus on strategic, collective, and bulk purchasing; advocacy and organizing; and fostering collaboration through open communication, technical assistance, and mutual support.

How They Do It: The Roundtable conducts research, coordinates purchasing activities, and advocates for policies supporting food access. They facilitate collaboration among their eight frontline member organizations and provide technical assistance to strengthen ties and expand the coalition.

The Roundtable advocates for greater transparency in state allocations of anti-hunger funds with the goal of more funds going directly to frontline providers across the city and state. They believe that frontline providers are best-positioned to ensure that more healthful food reaches community members in need.

Mission: The Roundtable collaborates to bring more resources to communities, so none of our neighbors go hungry.

Latest Project/Campaign: The Roundtable is supporting a new cohort of emergency food organizations through a pilot program that launched in the Fall of 2023. This program offers operational consulting, targeted purchasing analysis, and peer support through engagement with the broader Roundtable membership over the period of a year. Additionally, they have initiated a strategic planning process to guide their future work and have taken on leadership of the City’s Innovative Capacity Building project, disbursing half a million dollars in funding over two years to expand reach and impact and expand new warehouses, distribution centers, and vehicles.

Major Funding: Institutional support via the United Jewish Appeal, the New York Community Trust, the Applebaum Foundation, the Robin Hood Foundation, the NY State Health Foundation, and Sea Change Capital.

Profit/Nonprofit: Nonprofit program housed within the West Side Campaign Against Hunger

Annual Budget: not disclosed

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: The Roundtable emphasizes the importance of open communication and collaboration among its members and fostering a spirit of mutual support to address food insecurity effectively. Furthermore, the group’s purchasing work is evolving, especially in the area of bulk purchasing. As of summer 2023, the Roundtable has already completed more than triple the number of bulk purchases completed in all of 2022, resulting in savings exceeding $150,000 compared to standard distributor pricing. 


  • Location: New York City
  • Number of Full Time Staff: 0
  • Number of Volunteers: Member organizations support the effort by allocating time for this initiative.
  • Areas Served: New York City metropolitan area
  • Year Started: 2018
  • Founders: Greg Silverman, CEO/Executive Director of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger (WSCAH)

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