How It Works: A fifth of the city’s food pantries and kitchens have budgets of zero—they run on food donations alone. Yorkville Common Pantry is well funded and staffed, serving 4,800 meals per month (breakfast Monday through Friday and dinners Monday, Wednesday, and Friday). Each meal costs $5.50; pancakes (every Wednesday), chicken, and pork chops are standbys. Food donations compose 42 percent of YCP’s intake, of which City Harvest gives half. The rest comes from churches, synagogues, and schools. Rent and utilities eat up 37 percent of its budget ($210,325).
Annual Revenue: $568,446 (none of which is profit).
New Yorkonomics: New York is a place of astonishing extremes of wealth and poverty, but the city doesn’t make people poor. It attracts poor people because of its economic opportunity, social services, and car-free living. The combination of wealth and poverty seems to engender sympathy for the poor, which shows up in charitable entrepreneurship like the Yorkville Common Pantry.