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The Industry Serves Up Only Public ‘Staff Meal’

The Industry Serves Up Only Public ‘Staff Meal’


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Philadelphia welcomes its latest restaurant with a twist; a focus on the men and women behind the counter. Notably called ‘The Industry’, the restaurant pays homage to chefs, cooks, servers and wait staff which co-owner Heather Gleason says aren’t usually given as much credit as they deserve.

On June 6th owners Dave Garry, Gleason, and chef Szoke opened The Industry to the public serving dinners from 4p.m. to 1a.m. and late brunch in the afternoons until 4p.m. They decided to open the restaurant after years of restaurant experience.

“We’ve been in the business a long time and we were kind of like we should design a concept around our business,” said Gleason. “People are so interested in what we do so now we can give regular people a glimpse into the business.”

Every Sunday from 10p.m. to 1a.m., chef Pat Szoke serves up staff meals – a meal traditionally served to wait staff around lunch and dinner, to industry professionals and casual diners alike. For $5 to $6 anyone can enjoy what the chef cooks up and experience what it’s like to be part of a restaurant family.

“It’s whatever the chef is cooking,” said Gleason. “It’s what we eat and since the concept is designed around the industry, we offer it to the public as well.”

The restaurant is designed to make the dining experience casual and comfortable with reclaimed barn wood surrounding the space and custom made dining tables. Black and white photos of Philadelphia’s hospitality professionals taken by photographer Steve Legato grace the walls. The photos depict cooks in the kitchen, doing what they do best according to Gleason.

The restaurant offers a variety of specials throughout the week including Buckets of Champagne, which offers five-bottle buckets of High Life on Tuesdays for $10 and Monday Night Burger & Bubbles, featuring The Industry quarter-pound burger with either a glass of sparkling cava, brut rose, or a bottle of High Life.

To show commitment to those working in the hospitality business, the restaurant provides a 20 percent discount to all industry professionals.

In its second month, Gleason thinks the restaurant is doing “so good so far.”

“We’ve been doing well,” said Gleason. “We’ve built up a regular base in the neighborhood and we’re seeing a lot of new faces.”

Sean Flynn is a Junior Writer for The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @BuffaloFlynn


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


Metro Matters Success Is Bittersweet At Food Banks

The Food Bank for New York City supplies a vast majority of the food provided throughout the five boroughs at programs for feeding the poor. When it was founded in 1983, there were 35 food pantries and kitchens citywide. Today there are 967.

The Food Bank started out with a 35,000-square-foot warehouse and distributed 500,000 pounds of food a year. Today it occupies a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx and distributes 61 million pounds of food a year to those 967 kitchens and pantries, and to 200 more community and homeless programs. That does not include Meals on Wheels and other food services for the elderly, or regular school meals.

Most New Yorkers are probably vaguely aware of food kitchens, which serve hot meals, and food pantries, which distribute bags of groceries. But it is a good bet that the general public does not realize how the food network has mushroomed over 20 years, becoming a nonprofit success story.

It is so successful that it has become what Tyrone Harrysingh, the Food Bank's chief operating officer, calls a ''mainstay'' for the needy.

''I walked into this building 10 years ago and I was shocked,'' he said the other day in the Hunts Point warehouse, with its floor-to-ceiling storage bays. ''I knew about pantries and kitchens, but I didn't know about this. I remember saying to myself, 'What's going on here?' ''

What's going on is that what began as an emergency system has become an unofficial income supplement, compensating for welfare cuts. One pantry director calls it ''institutionalized,'' growing in size, sophistication and effectiveness.

It benefits not only the poor but also politicians, farmers, food manufacturers and corporate donors, who, under a 1976 change in the tax code, are eligible for enhanced deductions for food donations. It has lobbyists, public relations consultants, marketing specialists and a collection and distribution system coordinated by America's Second Harvest, a national network of 212 food banks with headquarters in Chicago.

Janet E. Poppendieck, a Hunter College sociologist and the author of ''Sweet Charity: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement'' (Viking Press, 1998), suggested that growth spurred more growth: ''Once a community has a food bank, it's easier to start a food pantry. You knew where to turn. And they had a voice that could appeal to government for support.''

COULD, and did. Most of what food banks distribute comes from government, which channels farm surpluses and processed foods to the banks, to the benefit not only of the recipients of the food, but also of American agribusiness.

Only a small fraction of the food in New York's charitable kitchens and pantries comes from nongovernment sources, including private donations, foundations, food drives and City Harvest. Up to 90 percent comes from the Food Bank, which gets 72 percent of its food from government.

The Food Bank's records show that of the 61.5 million pounds of food it distributed last year, more than half -- 33 million pounds -- came from the federal government. City government provided 14 million pounds, food manufacturers like ConAgra and Kraft and produce dealers and processing plants donated 9.5 million pounds, and the rest came from several sources, including the state and food drives.

The industry serves all ideologies. Conservatives can say they cut waste and encouraged private munificence liberals can say they preserved the safety net. The poor can do what they always do -- adapt by using the programs not just for meals but as an extra stream of income. Reliable statistics are elusive, but advocates say the numbers are growing as New Yorkers hit by the recession and impact of Sept. 11 struggle to make ends meet.

''It calls itself an emergency food system, but is much more a supplemental food system, a necessity,'' said Jeffrey Ambers, who runs the Yorkville Common Pantry in East Harlem. Use of his pantry is increasing, and other directors report the same.

Need drove the system's growth and made it the entrenched service so many now rely on, suggested Doreen Wohl, head of the West Side Campaign Against Hunger.

If we build it, they will come?

''I have no doubt about it,'' she said.

Who uses food programs? How do they learn of a system existing below the radar?

''My friend just told me about this place,'' a mother of two said as she visited Ms. Wohl's pantry for the first time the other day, a year after losing her job.


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