2022 Impact Report
Thank you to all our volunteers, donors, and partners in food justice.
Last year was incredible because of your support!
We are incredibly grateful for so much at Second Chance Foods, especially when we take the time to reflect on the major moments in a year. 2022 showcased the ongoing need for our services in the community, and the power of collaboration in new partnerships to meet the growing demand for healthy, delicious food. We hope you enjoy reading our 2022 Impact Report and feel connected to all the success made possible through your support – we couldn’t have done any of it without you!
“(Second Chance Foods )took a lot of the pressure off me on those days when I didn’t know what I was going to do and what I was going to pull together that my kids would eat and enjoy, It was a relief.” – Cate, former food recipient
A Letter from the Executive Director
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Last year was an unimaginable year of growth for Second Chance Foods. It’s hard to imagine that it’s only been six years since we cooked our first meal from 60 lbs of imperfect carrots and saw the potential for a food system that feeds and nourishes everyone. It fills me with such gratitude to share with you the impact you made in the lives of many of our community members who needed assistance last year.
Since 2017, our innovative meals program has nearly doubled yearly, resulting in almost 74 thousand meals in 2022.
This helped expand our reach by feeding more seniors, children, and families who need healthy food options by adding six new program partnerships and continuing the twelve regular programs we serve weekly.
We know it might be hard to visualize all those meals, not to mention the additional 290 thousand pounds of groceries we donated last year to our hunger relief partners. Picture a fresh tomato harvested from a local farm, brought by the bushel to our kitchen, and transformed into a nourishing soup that feeds a senior. Or a package of salmon nearing its sell-by date that gets baked into delicious (and healthy) salmon cakes, then passed out to our unhoused neighbors. Imagine multiple meals and groceries filling large banana boxes every week to feed 300 people – just one of our weekly programs that takes four trucks to transport to community members.
Every week we connect nearly 1,500 meals and over 5,500 pounds of food to programs and people that need it. This quickly adds up to 6,000 meals and more than 22 thousand pounds of groceries per month and grows to the mass volume of our impact in 2022.
More than a number, this food is connected with an individual in need and a reminder that nourishment means so much more than what we put in our bellies. Every individual is different, as are their struggles and situations. Some need short-term assistance to bridge an unexpected financial gap. Others need ongoing help to feed themselves or their families.
No matter the cause, we strive to provide healthy options that reduce the stigmas associated with assistance and fill the gaps in our food system. Our ability to innovate, remain flexible, and respond to the increased community needs are because of your generosity! In fact, more than half of our revenue comes from supporters like you, and our dedicated volunteers give time worth nearly $300 thousand!
As we look to the rest of 2023 and beyond, there is more to do to build sustainable solutions to hunger. So we’re pleased to announce our small staff is growing to help scale our operations, support our volunteers, and allow us to increase our impact.
Together, we can find new and innovative ways to provide nourishing meals that rescue food, reduce wasteful food systems, and improve the environment. We’re so grateful you’ve joined us in food rescue,
Martha Elder, Executive Director
Your Donations' Impact!
Big Impact At Every Level!
Income & Support
Impact By the Numbers - Seven Years of Growth!
New Programs that Fill the Gap of Food Assistance
Second Chance Foods was honored to partner with Cornell Cooperative of Putnam for the pilot program of Bountiful Meals in 2022. Using produce from local farms grown for Bountiful Meals (along with our regularly donated groceries), our volunteers cooked over 2,000 meals exclusively for seniors. Unfortunately, many seniors experience food insecurity and need assistance because of barriers like transportation, mobility, and the struggle of asking for help. Seniors are particularly at-risk of becoming food insecure because their fixed incomes can make it difficult to afford the rising costs of living essentials. While the senior centers provide lunch during the week, many seniors struggle on weekends or at dinner – this is where Bountiful Meals fill the gap! Our meals are stocked in special freezers at the county senior centers in Cold Spring, Putnam Valley, Mahopac, and Carmel. Seniors are invited to take what they need, when needed, to reduce the stigma associated with asking for help and provide easy access to assistance. Each freezer is stocked with about 100 meals (every other week) and, so far, is empty within a few days! As with all of our programs, the dinners made for Bountiful Meals are cooked with seniors in mind. We ensure our meals are nutritionally complete, easy to eat, and dishes we know they’ll love, like Spinach Mushroom Quiche, Roasted Chicken with Mustard Glazed Cabbage, Chicken Soup, Pumpkin Lasagna, and so much more!
Every week, Second Chance Foods provides kid-friendly dinners for the youth at Dunbar Heights in partnership with New Era Creative Space. New Era Creative Space holds after-school programming focused on creativity, character building, arts, and homework help. We were more than happy to help when asked if we could help provide meals because Dunbar Heights is a section 8 housing project located in a food desert. Most residents cannot afford a car, but there are no supermarkets or quality food sources within walking distance, making accessing nutritious food extremely difficult. We love any opportunity to bring vegetables and healthy foods to our community, but cooking for the Dunbar Heights program has been especially fun for our volunteers. It’s an opportunity to create healthy meals, introduce more vegetables and fruits into kids’ diets, and meet an immediate need for hunger relief.
One of our dedicated volunteers, Anya, also teaches art for the New Era Creative Space program and shared how important food is for this program. “Not only is it nourishing, but the meals from Second Chance Foods build community. Having food creates a warm, friendly, family-like environment where the children feel truly welcomed and respected.” Anya also told us many kids started participating in the program because of the food! They love the chicken quesadillas (with added veggies), pasta (with butternut squash, peas, and carrots), and, of course, our chicken parmesan sandwiches with sneaky tomato sauce filled with nutritious vegetables.
Our Commitment to Environmental Sustainability
Food Rescue to the Climate Rescue with Third Chance Foods!
Did you know Second Chance Foods works hard to incorporate responsible environmental practices into every level of our work? We utilized donated groceries from stores like Trader Joe’s, Ace Endico, and other shops with a surplus of food that can be cooked into delicious meals or connected fresh to our neighbors in need. Our volunteers help glean local organic farms, ensuring that healthy, flavorful produce isn’t left in the field but eaten! Our kitchen cooks and processes food to extend shelf life and help prevent waste. They also recycle packaging, save our scraps to feed local animals and compost the leftovers.
The Food Recovery pyramid created by the EPA prioritizes actions organizations can take to reduce food waste and best utilize excess food. We’re proud that not only are we a part of the second tier, Feed Hungry People, but we go the extra steps to Feed Hungry Animals and compost what we can.
Did You Know?
of food produced in the
United States is wasted.
of global greenhouse gas emissions are produced by food in landfills
of food is estimated to have reached maturity but left behind in the fields.
of surplus food is donated,
while 1 in 3 people report
Sustainable Practices That Reduced Hunger
Second Chance Foods strives to lead the way in sustainable hunger relief by optimizing our resources and utilizing as much of the food we receive as possible. We know that these efforts are critical for the environment and mean more food that can be passed on to our neighbors in need. Our Gleaning Volunteers work with local farmers to optimize the harvest and prevent surplus produce from being left in the fields. The Second Chance Foods Kitchen often extends the life of foods to ensure they can reach our neighbors who need hunger relief. For example, volunteers make sauces and cobblers from apples, pears, and peaches or dehydrate fruits like apples and bananas for a snack that is healthy and will last longer than fresh fruit. In summer, we make as much tomato sauce as possible from peak produce to use later in the year, pickle cucumbers and radishes, and do whatever we can be resourceful, flexible, and innovative.
Even though NY passed legislation requiring grocery stores and restaurants to donate surplus food, food rescue organizations like ours have a limited capacity to intake, preserve, and pass along these items before they expire. Your support in 2022 helped us grow this capacity with the addition of cold storage and staff, and we hope you’ll continue to join us and help our ability to rescue more food and feed more people.
“Sometimes due to available space in our freezer, time, or the process needed to preserve something, we have leftover foods that still have potential. One of my favorite things is our volunteers willingness to step up and ensure these items are not wasted. It could be chicken bones we removed to speed up cooking but don’t have room to save or time to process, or some crazy mushroom stems that we don’t have time to dehydrate for later. But, it says a lot that even after a full day of cooking for others, our volunteers are willing to go the extra mile and take items home to cook or transform for their own families. It truly shows their commitment to reducing food waste!”
-Martha Elder, Second Chance Foods Executive Director
Thank You to ALL our Volunteers, Donors, and Partners in Food Justice!
Grocery and Farm Partners
- Ace Endico
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange
- County Glean Team
- Fishkill Farms
- Glynwood Farm
- Hilltop Hanover Farm
- Rich Robbins
- Space on Ryder Farm
- Trader Joe’s Danbury
- Walden Local Meat
- And all our generous home growers who donate food!
Harvested greens from Hilltop Hanover Farm. We are incredibly grateful for all our partnerships that allow us to access this fresh, organic, healthy produce to create meals for our most vulnerable neighbors. This generosity and commitment to underserved populations by our farm partners is truly extraordinary!
Hunger Relief Partners
- Brewster Cares Summer Camp
- Brewster Community Food Pantry
- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam
- Church of the Holy Spirit
- Fishkill Food Pantry
- Gilead Food Pantry
- Hope on a Mission
- Glory2God Ministries
- Let It Shine Food Pantry
- Mount Carmel Baptist Church
- New Era Creative Space
- Ossining Food Pantry
- Pacific House Homeless Shelter
- Patterson Food Pantry
- Peekskill Salvation Army
- Philipstown Food Pantry
- Putnam CAP
- St John’s Food Pantry
More Ways to Support in 2023!
Did you know there are even more ways you can help nourish our neighbors and create a sustainable food system in our community?
Options include: becoming a monthly donor, donating in-kind gifts and services, volunteering, workplace giving, planned giving and so much more!
Email Development@SecondChanceFoods.org for more information or visit www.SecondChanceFoods.com/Support
Save The Date!
We’re so pleased to share that in 2022 we were able to host our Harvest Celebration for the first time since 2017. This event raised over $20,000 to support our mission and help connect more people with healthy food. But, this fundraiser was more than a gathering to raise money. It was a heartwarming event filled with dedicated volunteers, donors, and of course delicious food from the Second Chance Foods kitchen. If you’ve ever wondered what our food tastes like or how to connect with like-minded community members passionate about food justice, we hope you’ll join us in the fall – date to come!