New York Common Pantry Unites Partners This Thanksgiving to Support Neighbors in Need

New York, NY – The Annual Thanksgiving Dinner at New York Common Pantry (NYCP) may look different this year, but Thanksgiving favorites, conversation, and connection will be once again served.

In East Harlem, neighborhood hospitals, corporations and restaurants will join together to provide a Thanksgiving meal to New York Common Pantry’s guests. The block party style dining experience will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 25 from 1:00-4:00pm in front of NYCP’s East Harlem Choice Pantry on East 109th Street.

Mount Sinai Health System will provide the main course of turkey and ham, along with several side dishes, to NYCP’s dinner guests. FreshDirect will provide side dish ingredients for specialty signature dishes prepared by renowned chefs and restauranteurs Chef Pierre Thiam of Teranga and Chef JJ Johnson of FIELDTRIPRestaurant Associates will provide assistance in the NYCP kitchen and will be on hand to serve guests.

“Thanksgiving has long been a celebratory event for the Pantry and for our guests,” said Stephen Grimaldi, Executive Director of New York Common Pantry. “We are delighted to be able to continue our tradition of providing a full Thanksgiving dinner for individuals and families again this year. The added support for our neighborhood partners like Mount Sinai, Restaurant Associates and FreshDirect, plus one-of-a-kind side dishes from Chef Pierre Thiam and Chef JJ Johnson, is a welcome treat, especially this year.”

The Thanksgiving Dinner collaboration at NYCP underscores the importance of community partnerships. Mount Sinai, one of the oldest and largest teaching hospitals in the United States, is a long-standing partner of the organization, working together directly with community members to combat food insecurity.

“During these uncertain times, we are privileged to join NYCP, FreshDirect and Restaurant Associates to give back to the community and those in need during this holiday season,” said David L. Reich, MD, President and Chief Operating Officer for The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens. “We share in NYCP’s mission to address food insecurity in East Harlem and throughout NYC and commend them for their work.”

FreshDirect, the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, began their partnership with NYCP in February, and immediately took action when the pandemic hit NYC in March and provided groceries to the Pantry to ensure members continued to receive enough fresh, nutritious food.

“FreshDirect remains deeply committed to supporting The New York Common Pantry’s mission to eliminate hunger among our New York neighbors in need,” said David McInerney, CEO, FreshDirect.  “This time of the year is traditionally the busiest time for food pantries and with COVID-related food insecurity on the rise, the need for NYCP’s services will continue to increase.  We are grateful for the generosity of the East Harlem business community, our partners in supporting NYCP in their efforts to make this Thanksgiving season a little brighter for those in need.”

Restaurant Associates, the nation’s premier on-site dining management company, has collaborated with NYCP over the years, and especially at Thanksgiving, by donating kitchen help, food, and staffing support for dozens of events at the Pantry.

“At R/A, we have been innovators in Culinary, Hospitality, and Well-Being for over 60 years,” states Dick Cattani, CEO of Restaurant Associates. “Caring for our NYC community and neighbors is a core value for us now more than ever. We are proud to once again partner with NY Common Pantry for their annual Thanksgiving Dinner and serve their guests.”

Chef Pierre Thiam is the co-founder and executive chef of Teranga, the East Harlem restaurant inspired to reflect the depth, richness and vibrancy of Africa’s diverse culinary traditions in a modern, fast casual setting.

“Thanksgiving is the American tradition that best represents the spirit of Teranga,” said Chef Pierre Thiam, “In Senegal, we believe that sharing your food is the way to receive blessings and to always keep your bowl plentiful.”

Influenced by global flavors and cooking techniques found within various cultures, FIELDTRIP’s Executive Chef JJ Johnson uses heirloom rice grains and sustainable products to prepare rice bowls and salads with ethically sourced vegetables and proteins bursting with flavor.

“Every family should have the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving, regardless of where they live,” said Chef JJ Johnson, FIELDTRIP. “The ability to engage with my Harlem community all thanks to FreshDirect and NY Common Pantry, is something I am looking forward to this holiday season – I want to inspire love, comfort and add a smile to people through a warm meal.”

Each partner in the Thanksgiving Dinner event shares clear commitments to reducing food insecurity in New York City and providing fresh, nutritious, delicious hot food and grocery items to all who need it. For more ways to contribute, please visit

About NY Common Pantry:

New York Common Pantry reduces hunger and promotes dignity, health, and self-sufficiency throughout New York City.  In 2020, NYCP distributed over 6.2 million meals to those in need. Additionally, NYCP provides a broad spectrum of support for individuals and families, which include distribution of fresh produce and groceries, nutrition education, and case management to help participants find housing and other vital services. For more information, visit

About Mount Sinai Health System:

The Mount Sinai Health System is New York City’s largest academic medical system, encompassing eight hospitals, a leading medical school, and a vast network of ambulatory practices throughout the greater New York region. Mount Sinai is a national and international source of unrivaled education, translational research and discovery, and collaborative clinical leadership ensuring that we deliver the highest quality care—from prevention to treatment of the most serious and complex human diseases. The Health System includes more than 7,200 physicians and features a robust and continually expanding network of multispecialty services, including more than 400 ambulatory practice locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked No. 14 on U.S. News & World Report‘s “Honor Roll” of the Top 20 Best Hospitals in the country and the Icahn School of Medicine as one of the Top 20 Best Medical Schools in the country. Mount Sinai Health System hospitals are consistently ranked regionally by specialty by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

About FreshDirect:

FreshDirect is the Northeast’s leading online fresh food grocer, delivering directly to customers throughout seven states, including the New York City and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, and the District of Columbia. FreshDirect is committed to sourcing the freshest and best-tasting meat, fish, produce, and specialty items through direct relationships with suppliers, growers, and farmers. Launched in 2002, FreshDirect is a privately held company headquartered in The Bronx, NY. Wines and spirits are sold by FreshDirect Wines & Spirits, an independently owned store with NY State License #1277181. For more information, visit

About Restaurant Associates: Recognized as the nation’s premier on-site dining management company with a heritage steeped in quality and innovative dining, Restaurant Associates (R/A) delivers hospitality excellence to guests at corporate workplaces, cultural and entertainment centers, professional schools and catered events in metro New York City, Washington D.C., Boston and Atlanta. Headquartered in NYC, RA is a subsidiary of Compass Group, the world’s leading foodservice organization. For more information, visit

About Teranga:

Founded in 2019, Teranga’s mission is to share African culture through food.  Inspired by Co-Founder and Executive Chef, Pierre Thiam, Teranga offers fast-casual dining restaurants in Harlem and Brooklyn, and packaged goods that showcase African-grown superfoods. For more information, go to:

About FIELDTRIP: Founded in 2019 by Chef JJ Johnson, FIELDTRIP is a community-based dining experience that celebrates culture through the shared experience of rice. For us, rice is a journey to new parts of the globe. Our mantra, “Rice is Culture”, was born out of Chef JJ’s realization that rice connects us and can be found at the center of tables in almost every community. For more information go to: