Food Pantry & Food Assistance

JFS_311_800x639pxApproximately one in seven households in Connecticut is struggling to put food on the table. The JFSGNH Food Assistance Program is striving to keep this number from increasing by providing nutritious food to individuals and families in Greater New Haven. The Pantry and its food programs serve people near or below the poverty line, and those who are nutritionally at risk.

Our Food Pantry, located at 1440 Whalley Ave., offers non-perishable foods, fresh produce and fruits, and frozen items to needy individuals and families as a once monthly supplement.

The Food Pantry is open on Wednesday and Thursday mornings  by appointment from 9-12 (except for holidays or months which have five weeks). For emergency food, please call (203) 397-0796 to schedule an appointment. We return calls within 24 hours except on weekends, pantry closures and holidays.    

Please note that during COVID, all food will be distributed in pre-packed bags.  We unfortunately can no longer allow anyone inside to shop for their food.  

In addition, due to COVID, we can only accept donations that are newly purchased.  We cannot take food from kitchen cleanouts, or items that have been stored in households.  

 Emergency clients must speak/meet with a social worker and will need to provide a current photo ID.  If ID does not have current address, please bring mail or or another document that will show your current address along with your photo ID. 

In addition to supplemental and emergency food, JFSGNH also helps local families during Passover and Thanksgiving.

The Pantry is funded in part by grants from the United Way of Greater New Haven, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven.

How to Help

  • Conduct a one-time non-perishable Food Drive (see Guidelines below)
  • Conduct an on-going food drive at your synagogue/school/business/organization
  • Volunteer to help pack bags for holidays or special programs
  • Tailor a community service or a Bar/Bat Mitzvah project around collecting food for the Pantry

Donation Guidelines
Whether it’s a few cans or several bags of groceries, every donation is appreciated!  Here are some guidelines to follow before making a donation:

  • Due to COVID, we can only accept newly purchased food. 
  • Please check dates on food packages. We can only accept food that is not past its expiration date.
  • The Pantry accepts non-perishable foods of all types, including canned foods, boxed foods and bagged foods.
  • Due to food safety issues, please avoid donating any glass containers which can break in transport or during processing.  Also, for health reasons we cannot accept any open containers, boxes or repackaged items; homemade items – this includes items without a label or any extra pre-made leftover food from events.
  • Donations can be dropped off at the Pantry during regular operating hours (Wednesday and Thursday between 9 a.m. until noon). We request that if you have a large donation, please call ahead of time to make drop off arrangements. This is to ensure that our volunteers are ready to help take in and process your donation.  Please do not leave any donations outside as any donations left near the door during non-operating hours will be thrown out due to safety and health precautions.  

For more information about donations or to schedule a drop-off, please contact Sandy Hagan at or to speak directly to a Pantry volunteer call Wednesday /Thursday between 8:30 – 12  at 203-397-0796.