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2023 Village Awardee: The Red Door Place, 201 West 13th Street

Village Preservation is very proud to honor The Red Door Place as a 2023 Village Awardee. Join us in recognizing The Red Door Place and these five other worthy awardees at Village Preservation’s Annual Meeting and Village Awards on Tuesday, June 13. Registration is free and open to all!

The Red Door Place is an invaluable Greenwich Village institution. It was founded twenty years ago by the Church of the Village to meet the critical need of food insecurity. It was named The Red Door Place because of the red door that marks the entrance, and while it still runs out of the church, it has now grown into a separate nonprofit organization serving the community with hot meals and a food pantry. According to their wesbiste, “We are a hunger relief and economic empowerment program based in New York’s Greenwich Village. We serve hundreds of people in need each week through our food pantry and community meal programs. We also act as a conduit for resources, striving to empower our guests as they work to escape from the cycle of poverty. Rooted in hope, our mission is to eliminate hunger and provide people with the resources they need to achieve economic freedom.”

Food distribution at The Red Door Place (note the namesake red door in the background). Image via https://www.thereddoorplace.org/

Since 2016, it has been led by Executive Director Teresa Concepcion. Within one year after the city declared a pandemic emergency in March 2020, the number of New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity had increased sharply to more than 1.5 million. This growth strained even the largest food pantries. Sadly, nearly 40% of the pantries in the city closed during the pandemic because they lacked the resources to keep up with the surge in demand.

But the Red Door Place persisted and remained open, not missing a single day in its twice-a-week schedule. On Tuesdays, the Red Door provides bags containing three days’ worth of food, such as frozen chicken, fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and bread. On Saturdays, it offers hot meals.

Preparing hot meals at The Red Door Place. Image via Tear-n Tan

Today the Red Door Place plays a bigger role than ever. Concepcion says the number of guests has increased to 1,000 on Tuesdays from 450 just a year ago, meeting a vital and growing need. They serve over 24,000 pounds of food to over 3,000 guests every week.

October 3, 2020: Chop, Slice, and Dice! at the United Methodist Church of the Village in New York City.

Led by Concepcion, much of the work is done by a team of 40 volunteers who inspect and organize the food. Concepcion believes the Red Door and other emergency food services are not a permanent solution to the food crisis. “I always say that the long-term goal is that we don’t exist because nobody’s hungry. I don’t think that’s going to happen in my lifetime, but it’s a good dream to have.”

If you or someone you know is experienceing food insecurity or need mental health support or clothing facilities, please contact The Red Door Place or one of their partners here.

Join us in recognizing The Red Door Place and five other amazing people, organizations, and businesses at Village Preservation’s Annual Meeting and Village Awards on Tuesday, June 13. Registration is free and open to all!

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