Lantern Community Services serves people living in some of the highest-need neighborhoods in New York City. Our clients have been homeless for a long time before they come to us, and even now their low incomes and neighborhoods mean they have limited access to healthy, affordable food. Many are living with mental illness or substance abuse, which can make prioritizing healthy eating a challenge.
Lantern’s Nutrition & Culinary Arts program offers our clients the resources they need to access, prepare, and enjoy nutritious food—a cornerstone of physical health and a good quality of life. Through cooking, learning, and sharing meals together, our clients benefit from a true sense of home, health, and community.
- Fresh Food Box: We provide our clients with weekly produce boxes containing an assortment of fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables.
- Cooking classes: In weekly cooking classes, residents learn about food budgeting, and prepare and enjoy nutritious meals together. Seasonal cooking workshops focus on preparing the foods in the weekly produce boxes and harvested in our beautiful onsite gardens.
- Gardening programs: Several Lantern buildings host onsite gardening programs, in which residents grow flowers, herbs and vegetables to be shared with all residents throughout the buildings. Facilitated by master urban gardeners and farmers, our gardening programs give clients the opportunity to grow their own food, experience the mental health benefits of gardening, and build community by working together to beautify shared spaces.
- Food 4 Life: An evidence-informed nutrition curriculum for young adults, imparting a solid understanding of local food resources, and opportunities to learn self-advocacy skills and healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime.
- Access to food benefits and nutritional counseling: We ensure that all clients who are eligible for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits access them, and participate in the NYC Department of Health’s “Health Bucks” program, so our clients can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables during our group outings to local farmers’ markets. Clients are referred to nutritional counseling as needed.
- Communal meals: At several Lantern buildings, we provide regular, nutritious communal meals, which assist with food security, build community, and decrease social isolation.
From the Lantern blog
Welcome to FAB-YOU-ary!
A day out of the city for Lantern kids
Department of Agriculture awards grant to Food 4 Life
Evidence-informed ‘Food 4 Life’ curriculum launched for young adults