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Last year, we gave out a whopping 75,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables through our Fresh Food Box program. It’s our most popular program, and it’s one of the simplest and cheapest tools we have to help people improve their health.

The program works best when our residents know they can rely on it every week. We’ve had some generous support from some of our NYC City Council members this year (Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Members Rosenthal and Levine), but in districts where we haven’t received that support, we now face having to put the program on hold.

We need to raise $5,000 right now to keep Fresh Food Box running until the summer.
Support our campaign today, and 100% of your donation will be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers.

Rhonda, a Lantern resident who lives in Brownsville, says:

“In the grocery store where I live at in my community – we have a Food Bazaar over here – the quality of the food is really bad. I wish there were more places within our area where we could walk to get fresh vegetables. The Fresh Food Box is a blessing.”

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How the program works

Our residents were homeless for many years, still struggle on very low incomes, and live in neighborhoods where affordable, healthy food is scarce. Many also live with chronic illness, and not being able to eat healthy food makes conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and depression even worse. Fresh Food Box changes all this.

Every week in our community spaces, we give out free fruits and vegetables to people who are at risk of poor nutrition. Our Health and Wellness Coordinators do cooking demonstrations to show them how to prepare tasty, nutritious meals on a tight budget. Residents talk with staff, volunteers and each other, sharing their own cooking ideas. Fresh Food Box provides a welcoming, social environment that often becomes a highlight event of the week. GrowNYC, our nonprofit partner, buys the produce we give out from New York farmers, meaning that the money we spend also benefits our local agriculture.

Produce in each Fresh Food Box is the best of what’s seasonally available, ensuring a wide variety of fresh produce year-round, including apples, root vegetables, eggs, grains, and dried beans. By supporting a diverse diet, Lantern sets our residents up with one of the most basic foundations for health.

What does it cost?

  • $30 provides fresh produce to a resident for a whole month
  • $50 provides fresh produce for five families for a week
  • $125 provides fresh produce to a resident every week until July
  • $250 provides fresh produce for residents of a whole building for a week

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