project leader
Jen C
638 E 6th Street
(Lower East Side)
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the project

At the onset of the COVID19 crisis, Sixth Street Community Center (SSCC) pivoted their work to address the pressing needs that emerged in our LES community. Our emergency response included organizing and launching an emergency food distribution program out of our center, which we have been running weekly since April 2020. Since we launched our community food distribution, we have served over 20,000 households in the LES. Right now we rely heavily on food donations to supply our distribution and PPP funding to sustain our staff, but due to overwhelming demands our food donors aren't able to commit to supporting our food relief work and due to our finite supply of PPP funds, we are not sure we can sustain staffing this program for the long haul. Sixth Street Community Center is raising money to ensure we can continue this work which we know is essential for supporting our community members' needs. We would use the money raised to support our organizations' efforts and to buy food for distributions when we cannot secure food donations. Sixth Street Community Center is home base for EV Loves NYC as well as other mutual aid groups. Our partnerships with them provide free space in our center's kitchen facilities for cooking prepared meals that go out to thousands of New Yorkers each week. Use of our facilities comes as a cost out of pocket for SSCC, as we have utilities, mortgage and insurance costs. Funding for SSCC will ensure that we can not only continue to feed families through our emergency food distribution but also continue to provide free space to our mutual aid partners like EV Loves NYC so we can expand our essential work of combatting food insecurity.

Sixth Street Community Center is a 501c3 organization. Founded in 1978, we are based in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. As a small non-profit and one of the only last-standing community centers in NYC, COVID19 has significantly impacted how we operate and it is threatening our ability to remain alive as a grassroots organization. Our center is small and humble but mighty.  We believe in the quality of work that we do, and are proud of the unique types of community programs that we offer.  For the past four decades, we have been committed to advancing social, environmental, housing, economic and racial justice in the Lower East Side community. We believe that people of all backgrounds and incomes in New York City have the right to a safe, clean, and healthy environment. We also believe everyone deserves to have their basic needs such as housing, food, education and healthcare met with dignity and respect. Our mission is as follows:

  1. Provide emergency services and act as an emergency hub in response to community crises around extreme weather, food shortages and economic insecurity.
  2. Expand food access and affordability of fresh, organic, locally farmed foods to neighborhood families through our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program.
  3. Educate youth about equitable urban living, sustainable urban agriculture and climate justice empowering them to become active and engaged climate leaders.
  4. Engage our diverse community through outreach and organizing on environmental justice campaigns and advocate for community led solutions.

the steps

If we meet our targeted funding goal, Sixth Street Community Center will be able to offer a steady supply of fresh produce to approximately 300 families every week through the end of 2021. Right now, our program relies heavily on food donations which means our emergency food program has to operate at the whims of when we can secure these donations and the day of the program can tend to vary from week to week. Our goal is to be able to provide this emergency food program for our families with stability on a set day and time every single week. 

Over the course of the year at our emergency food distribution, we have taken the time to engage with our community to understand their needs best. We often hear feedback that the food provided for free at places like public schools, via the City or via the Federal Farm to Families program aren't necessarily the types of food that our families are accustomed to eating. Many of our families have had to adjust their diets by eating whatever they can secure through these programs. They like coming to Sixth Street because when we purchase produce to distribute, we do our best to consider produce that are culturally sensitive and in alignment with what our families would be buying for themselves if they could. Because Sixth Street has been running this distribution for over a year now, we have established a buying relationship with a wholesale produce company that can deliver vegetables and fruits for our weekly distribution whenever we need them to. Sixth Street essentially has all the steps down to operate this project, the safety net of funds to continue this work is the only missing component!



why we're doing it

We are doing this work, because we have witnessed how the general structure of society and our government has really failed our communities during this pandemic. So many people have lost their jobs or suffered a reduced income due to COVID. We are witnessing the layers of vulnerability and how families who were just barely making ends meet prior to the pandemic are now housing insecure, food insecure and in general vulnerable to the health threats posed by COVID19. On top of that, s many of our families have experienced deep loss and are still hanging on by a mere thread. We recognize that families are making really tough decisions about how to use the very little money they may have. We don't want our families to have to make sacrifices such as having to pay for rent instead of food. At Sixth Street Community Center, we care deeply about the holistic well-being of our families. We believe in these moments of crisis, it is really critical to spring into action and assess the ways that we can use our abilities to be most supportive for our families. Considering that we have a long track record of running food access programs and have been fighting for food justice and food security in the Lower East Side, it was feasible for us to develop an Emergency Food Distribution Program at our center. 



Disbursed Budget 7.12.21

$30,832.58 will be used to provide food for 300-350 families from the disbursement date through December 2021. An average bag/box of food includes an assortment of fresh greens, hearty vegetables, fruit, and staple pantry items like rice or pasta for a family of 3-4 people. The price of produce fluctuates- and the cost of running a weekly distribution can cost up to $1,550.

TOTAL RAISED = $31,328.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $495.42

Original Budget:

$30,000 will provide Sixth Street with the resources to continue their emergency food distribution program through the end of 2021.  We know that even though New York City will begin "re-opening" up this year, the impacts from the pandemic will have lasting effects on the thousands of low-income families that we serve in the Lower East Side.  After one year of starting our emergency food distribution, we still have at least 300 local families that rely on our weekly food boxes to keep their families fed and nourished.

This $30,000 will be used to provide food for 300-350 families for 27 weeks from June through December 2021. An average bag/box of food includes an assortment of fresh greens, hearty vegetables, fruit, and staple pantry items like rice or pasta for a family of 3-4 people. 

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)


Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.


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