The Imagine Society

#FoodForFamilies

In June 2020 we kicked off our #FoodForFamilies campaign where we began raising funds and in-kind donations to provide groceries, sanitizers and masks, toiletries and other essential items to Food Pantries and Shelters in New York City.

We began a monthly initiative to provide families visiting NYC food pantries with a reusable grocery bag full of healthy ingredients to make a restaurant quality family feast from culturally diverse recipes that our teens have researched and translated into multiple languages. We include the translated recipe cards with the ingredients (and one of our #MessagesofLove) in the grocery bag. To accompany each different monthly recipe, our Imagine youth leaders have created a TEEN COOKING VIDEO SERIES to demonstrate how fun and easy it is to cook together as a family and not sacrifice taste for health and wellness! We post the videos on our Instagram @TheImagineSociety and our Facebook page.

Below see some amazing photos from our Services at food pantries in New York City.

It might have been cold and rainy on Saturday May 8th, but our incredible volunteers were warming hearts in support of our community at Ascension Food Pantry this weekend! In celebration of Mother’s Day Ascension Food Pantry provided 350 families with the ingredients for a delicious pancake breakfast and thanks to your generous donations we were able to provide Tropicana orange juice too! Groceries were handed out in these beautiful pink bags each with a sweet mother’s day note in the pocket, which really helped to brighten up a cold wet day!

 

On Saturday April 24, 2021 we had another amazing service at Ascension Food Pantry celebrating COMMUNITY! The local traffic police joined our volunteers in a beautiful gesture of solidarity to build and enrich our community. The police and the teens worked hand in hand to sort, pack, distribute and deliver much needed groceries and supplies to those in need. The Imagine Society continues our youth-led mission to bring love and unity to the society we imagine can be better. Thank you to all our volunteers for coming together with the NYPD to serve our community together, thanks to your donations over 350 families were served. Each grocery bag was lovingly filled with the groceries needed to make an oven baked frittata along with a recipe card in 3 different languages. Thank you to our teen leader Jesus for providing us with this original recipe! And as a bonus while waiting in line each of our clients received an individually packaged donut! Thank you to all the volunteers and donors that made this possible!

 

On March 20th 2021 we are partnering with Muslim Volunteers For New York as part of our ongoing #FoodForFamilies initiative to provide 350 families in need with the groceries for this Pakistani recipe, Chana Chaat. Please check out the latest installment of our Teen Chefs Cooking Series where our special guests, the Junior Members of MV4NY teach us different ways to prepare this healthy and amazingly delicious traditional dish. Chana or Channa Chaat is a Pakistani Chickpeas salad that is loaded with superfoods and can be custom made to your taste: sweet or spicy, with or without yogurt. Each of our talented guest star chefs with teach you their own spin on this high protein treat. It’s a wildly popular Pakistani street snack and the potatoes also make it a filling meal. After watching this video, we are confident that Chana Chaat will be on everyone’s must have list this spring!

 

On February 13th at Ascension Food Pantry we provided the ingredients for One-Pot Crystal Chicken with Ginger & Chilli Oil and a side of Stir-Fried Garlic Green Beans in honor of Lunar New Year. We also provided goodie bags filled with fresh baked goods to celebrate Valentines Day!

 

On Saturday, January 16th The Imagine Society, Inc. Provided 350 families in need with staple groceries and ingredients for a celebratory Barbecue Dinner inspired by African American chefs from the American South in honor of Dr. King and his commitment to racial and social justice. Thank you to everyone who contributed the $20,000 budget, and the many volunteers who made this glorious gesture possible. Please enjoy our continuing teen chef’s series bilingual cooking video where we demonstrate how to cook the full meal.

 

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our bake sale giveaway at Ascension Food Pantry on December 19th! We packaged cookies and candy canes in these amazing gingerbread house boxes to be given along with grocery items to families in our community. Spreading the holiday cheer with some extra special sweet treats, healthy clementines, and beautiful #MessagesofLove! 365 clients were served, of which 68 were deliveries to the homebound. The kids also distributed holiday-themed face masks and warm socks/gloves and or hats to those waiting on line. Thank you to all our supporters for making this service possible!

 

Despite the weather, on December 5th we had another amazing #FoodForFamilies service at Ascension Food Pantry! Even in the rain and cold our volunteers were so eager to safely get out and do their part to help the community. Thanks to the donations from our supporters like you, we were able to provide all the ingredients to make Peruvian Arroz con Pollo to 350 families in need. And thank you to Good Enough To Eat restaurant on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for providing us with their delicious Peruvian Arroz con Pollo recipe to share with these families!

 

On November 7th we had another successful #FoodForFamilies food pantry service at Ascension Food Pantry! We had the great honor to provide 350 families in need with all the ingredients to make the authentic Italian dish Pasta a la Bolognese. Complete with parmesan cheese packets donated by Karen Petersen & Jen and Chris Makowski! Thank you to our volunteers, thank you to our donors, thank you to our communities for coming together to help one another and making all of this possible.

 

On October 3rd we celebrated the beginning of Italian Heritage Month by having our 5th #FoodForFamilies food pantry service! We provided 350 families at Ascension Food Pantry with all the ingredients to make the authentic Italian dish Broccoli Pasta with Spicy “Arrabbiata” Tomato Sauce! Thanks to all your donations we were also able to provide them with a whole chicken and our new friends at Terranova Bakery donated 350 traditional Pane Di Casa loaves! We also received a donation of hundreds of Italian flags from the Columbus Citizens Foundation.

 

On September 12th we had our 4th #FoodForFamilies food pantry service! We provided 300 gorgeous red reusable cooler bags filled with the ingredients and recipe cards for The Imagine Society’s spin on some traditional Chinese dishes inspired by Eileen Yin-Fei Lo’s recipes: Cold Sesame Noodles, Stir-Fried Green Beans with Garlic & Ginger, and Cauliflower with Peppercorn Salt. We were able to provide these groceries thanks to contributions from our generous donors – THANK YOU! And an incredibly generous in kind donation of over 300 jars of peanut butter from Saratoga Peanut Butter to make sesame noodles with!

 

On August 21st we were able to once again provide the ingredients and printed recipe cards for Arroz Con Frijoles Saludables y Pollo AKA Healthy Summer Rice & Beans – this time to 225 families and 200 individuals at St Clements Food Pantry! A big thank you to our donors for once again making this possible and to our Imagine volunteers who gave their time to give back to the community.

 

On July 25th we were honored to be able to provide the Ascension Food Pantry with the ingredients and printed recipe cards for Arroz Con Frijoles Saludables y Pollo AKA Healthy Summer Rice & Beans! The teen volunteers packed the ingredients in reusable bags alongside the staple grocery items that the Ascension Spirit Squad provides to their community every week. We are so thankful to all our donors who make it possible for these services to go above and beyond – bringing joy to so many people during a difficult time.

 

To celebrate Independence Day we had a 4th of July at home BBQ service at Ascension Food Pantry. Complete with red, white, and blue balloons, apple pies from Table Talk Pies and patriotic messages of love! We also celebrated the 4th of July with a donation blowout blast for the staff and residents of Siena House shelter. Thank you all for helping us make the country a little brighter for the mothers and babies experiencing homelessness in this pandemic, and for the generous caretakers who dedicate their lives to this worthy cause.

 

Stay tuned to our service page as we share the wonderful ways we are helping the communities most affected by the aftermath of covid 19.