Camp Friendship Food Pantry

Camp Friendship is a Park Slope, Brooklyn based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt youth organization that has provided comprehensive services, parent and youth education, after school tutoring and a host of supportive services serving over 700 young people and their families each year. It's been a fixture in the Park Slope community since 1973 . When Covid-19 hit and the NYC lockdown ensued, Camp Friendship was forced to put their in-person youth programming on hold, so we looked for other ways to make an impact. It all started with a single email from community organizer and Camp Friendship Board Member Chris Johnson seeking volunteers. With a team of committed volunteers on Tuesday, June 2, 2020, Camp Friendship Food Pantry opened its doors for the first time and started giving away fresh produce, pantry bags, and prepared meals. Today, we distribute food weekly to hundreds of recipients who wait in line every Sat. from 12-2pm. Twice a week we also deliver food to approx. 80-100 homebound seniors, all referred to us from the organization Heights and Hills, one of the largest providers of case management services for older adults in Brooklyn. Every week approx. 50-60 volunteers, a very diverse and multigenerational group of adults and seniors, high school/college kids, local moms and dads wear their masks, organize inventory, make deliveries using their own vehicles, stuff produce and pantry bags and staff donation tables around the neighborhood. Many other volunteers help out from home with graphic design, social media, volunteer recruitment, filling out applications and putting up flyers, etc. Neighbors drop off donations of non-perishable food at the Camp Friendship club house on Saturdays 10am-2pm. Some folks drop by every Sat. and make it part of their routine to donate groceries on their way back from their weekly trip to the supermarket. We’re always thinking of new ways to increase the depth and breadth of our services. This summer, we completed a map listing with hours of operation of other local food pantries and relief kitchens in English and Spanish for our recipients. One volunteer also purchased cloth masks from Etsy after noticing that many of our recipients were wearing the disposable kind. Currently we’re running a winter coat drive (partnering with NY Cares) and holiday toy drive for our clients. We’re also purchasing hats and gloves as holiday gifts for the folks in line to help prepare them for the long, hard winter ahead. For our Sat distribution before Thanksgiving we received frozen turkeys from our local assemblyman Bobby Carrol to give away and made a last minute dash to the supermarket to purchase additional turkeys so everyone in line would receive one. On Thanksgiving Day, we prepared 350 Thanksgiving meals for local partner organizations, Heights and Hills and the Brooklyn YWCA on Atlantic Ave. Local partner Brooklyn Relief Kitchen, local chefs, and Camp Friendship volunteers did all the cooking! When the weather was warmer, local musicians played live jazz for the folks in line. Local kids have raised money for the pantry with lemonade stands and bake sales. Local families from PS 39 are baking holiday cookies to add a festive touch to our food distribution the Sat before Christmas. Local families have brought in homecooked meals and baked goods (most recently referred to us from partner org for our homebound seniors that we deliver to twice a week. Just this week for the first time, we partnered up with immigrant and community organization Quincy Asian Resources ( who agreed to deliver to our doorstep packs of prepared meals (6 meals per pack) that also come with fruit and small cartons of lowfat milk. Our clients were thrilled with the quality and variety of the meals. The community response has been wonderful and we’re constantly looking for new and creative ways to provide additional services and boost morale among our clients. Camp Friendship’s ethos has always been to do what we do with care and respect, to welcome everyone and encourage the entire community to come together in that effort. A food pantry is a visible way that reminds everyone how easy it is to lend a hand, to think globally but to act locally. Our goal ultimately is to leverage the visibility that we’ve gained via the food pantry to resume and improve our work in youth services and equity issues while continuously improving the quality of the services we provide at the food pantry.

Hannah Sohn

339 8th Stree
Brooklyn, NY 11215

What we need most

Diapers, Formula, Period Products Canned Tuna, Rice (small packages preferred) Pasta, Tomato Sauce, Boxes of Cereal, Dried or Canned Beans, Lentils, Shelf stable milk (dairy and non-dairy) Canned Veggies, Canned Fruit, Cans of Hearty Soups, Granola Bars/Protein Bars

Camp Friendship Food Pantry is a non-profit organization.

Get involved today by enrolling your shelter.