Food Pantry & Food Assistance

JFS_311_800x639pxApproximately one in seven households in Connecticut is struggling to put food on the table. The JFSGNH Food Pantry & 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).

Emergency Food Requests – 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.    

All requests must verbally attest to the USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) client certification.  Additional information may be requested for participation in the JFS Food Assistance Program and may include a current photo ID.  If an ID does not have current address, please bring mail or or another document that will show your current address along with your photo ID. 

The Pantry is funded in part by grants from the United Way of Greater New Haven (Emergency Food & Shelter Program (EFSP) funding), the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Greater New Haven.  The Pantry also receives product from CT Foodshare which is from the USDA in the form of TEFAP commodities.  

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:

  • The Pantry accepts non-perishable foods of all types, including canned foods, boxed foods and bagged foods. 
  • Please check all dates on food packages as we do not accept food after its “Best By”, “Use By” or “Expiration Date” .  
  • Due to food safety issues, please avoid donating 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) or by appointment on other days and times. 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 the door or building during non-operating hours.  Unfortunately, since we have no control over the outside elements/weather/temperature, donations left outside are discarded due to safety and health precautions.  

Unsure what to Donate?

Here are some of the most common foods requested by our Pantry guests.

Canned soups and Broths

Canned Pasta and Canned Chili; Canned chicken

Cereal- children and adult

Baking items such as small bags of sugar and flour; oil; crisco; sweet condensed milk; evaporated milk

Drinks – coffee (regular and decaf); tea; small juice boxes; 

Pasta (all shapes)

Canned meats and fish (solid or chunk white tuna; canned chicken; sardines)

Non Dairy/Non  Refrigerated Milk – oat milk, almond milk, rice milk  

Nutritional Supplements – Ensure; Boost; Protein drink/meal replacement

Boxed Rice mixes or meal starters (Hamburger Helper; Pasta Sides;  Rice-a-Roni)

Grains – couscous; farrow; buckwheat; quinoa 

Condiments – ketchup, mayo, mustard (spicy and yellow); BBQ sauce; salad dressings; relish

Canned vegetables – Potatoes (whole, diced, sliced); Carrots; Corn (whole kernel or creamed); Green beans (French; whole, cut);  Lima beans, Sauerkraut, Mushrooms, Beets, Spinach, Collards,

Kosher or Halal non-perishable canned/boxed food (all types) 


For more information about donations/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.